Liberal Day of Action on Suicide Prevention; Government Must Create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy, says Rae

Media/Press Release
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Liberal Day of Action on Suicide Prevention; Government Must Create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy, says Rae

October 4, 2011

OTTAWA— Liberals today launched a day of action on suicide prevention designed to raise awareness and call for the creation of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy in partnership with the provinces, territories, First Nations, Inuit, Métis and other stakeholders. Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Liberal Health Critic Dr. Hedy Fry were joined this morning by Senator Roméo Dallaire and representatives from the Royal Ottawa Health Group, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention as well as Stephanie Richardson of the Do it for Daron campaign.

“Every Canadian has been touched in some way by suicide. We have all lost friends and loved ones and we have all been forced to wonder why lives that seemed together and well focused come to tragic ends,” said Rae. “But it’s a stigmatized problem, and it’s a silent problem. This has to end. Suicide is not just a personal tragedy; it’s a key issue of public policy and facing up to it requires political will.”

The Liberal Party of Canada is using its Opposition Day in the House of Commons to table a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to create Canada’s first National Suicide Prevention Strategy. The motion will be debated in the House throughout the day, and Liberal MPs will make use of the daily Question Period to raise awareness of suicide prevention as a public health issue. MPs from all are invited to seize this unique opportunity to share their stories.

“Addressing suicide must start with promoting awareness and removing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health,” said Dr. Fry, “It means taking serious steps to identify why it happens and how to intervene in order to prevent it. And it means increasing the services and supports for those families impacted by a suicide.”

In addition to the debate in Parliament, Liberals are extending an invitation to all Canadians to share their stories and the impact suicide has had on their lives. A petition supporting creation of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy will be hosted on www.liberal.ca.

“We need to begin the discussion now. Let’s bring it out into the open so we can create a comprehensive and integrated strategy to deal with this truly national problem,” concluded Dr. Fry. “We need a focused, evidence-driven approach to deal with this senseless loss of life.”

To view the petition, please click here: http://petition.liberal.ca/suicide-prevention/

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Ottawa:
Ryan Cotter
hedy.fry.a1@parl.gc.ca
(613) 220-0275 mobile

Vancouver
Paul Nixey
paul@nixey.ca
(778)918-7285 mobile