The committee for preventing suicide wants Quebec to do more
Published Monday, September 9, 2019 1:09PM EDT
Multiple organizations made their case in Quebec City Monday for the government to implement a province-wide suicide prevention strategy that does not exclude any groups or ages.
The over two-dozen organizations that make up the Collective for National Suicide Prevention Strategy point to a plan Quebec implemented in 1998, which resulted in suicide rates dropping 4.1 per cent for men, 2.6 per cent for women and 9.5 per cent for youth.
The collective is made up of more than 25 organizations including the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) that work in suicide prevention and mental health.
They argued Monday that it is time for Quebec to come up with a new plan and dedicate more resources to prevent suicides.
They highlighted that there are an estimated 75-80 suicide attempts every day in Quebec and three suicides.
Retired judge Michael Sheehan is co-president of the collective and lost his son to suicide. He spoke about the province needing to enhance services in place and expand to those groups that struggle to find services.
"We already have a network of suicide prevention centres and crisis lines that do an excellent job," he said. "Unfortunately, in certain regions, they need to be improved. Our interventions and our resources for First Nations need to be improved. There's no doubt about that. How do we do that? We use what we've learned and we spread it over, all over, everywhere so that no group be neglected."
The collective also spoke about starting young in terms of prevention and teaching children how to deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.