Suicide in Canada: Information & Prevention


According to Canada Statistics, approximately 5,800 suicides occurs annually. It is the 7th most common cause of death among Canadian males, and 10th among both sexes. In between 1950 to 2009, the rate of male suicide was 3 times more than females. Within the age groups of 15-24, suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death during 2003-2007. To put it in context, the suicide rate per 100,000 residents in 1950 was 7.8, 7.6 in 1960, 11.3 in 1970, 13.7 in 1980 and has been increasing ever since.

Nunavut has the highest suicide rate per 100,000 residents than any other cities in Canada: approximately 113 male deaths and 26 female deaths, or 71 deaths combined annually.

The most common causes of suicide include:

  • Depression & Mental Illness
  • Family history of suicide
  • Physical/sexual abuse
  • Emotional losses & losses of social status/jobs
  • Lack of social support/social isolation in difficult times
  • Family disruptions (divorce or problems with the law)

You can help prevent a possible suicide by noticing the following, but not limited to, warning signs from your friends, family members, co-workers.

  • Daily preoccupation with death theme/desire
  • Intense sadness and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal from family, friends and social activities
  • Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs)
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Taking on more risky behaviors
  • Constant lack of energy
  • Increased irritability
  • Changes in appetite

Don’t be afraid to talk about the subject of suicide with a loved one who might be affected by it. Don’t fear that they might think you are interfering with their personal life, or that you are judging them wrongly. Starting the conversation is often the best way to open them up, to gain their trust so they can share their worries and anxieties with you.

Do seek professional help. There are many hotlines and prevention lines available.

You can call toll free: 1.833.456.4566, available 24/7, or text 45645, as well as chat daily with a supporter following this link.


For more health tips: Check out other Santé & Sanity videos.