Does Canada need a national suicide prevention strategy?
Canada is the only G8 country without a national suicide prevention strategy — indeed one of the few industrialized countries in the world without one. The United States, Australia, Japan, Scotland, England, and Finland are just some of the countries with working national policies in place. Even Guyana, a developing nation, is drafting its own national strategy to address its alarmingly high suicide rates.
Canada has enjoyed a bedrock of support for a federal strategy for many years. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) has been calling for a national strategy since the 1990s. In fact, it was one of the principal reasons the organization was originally established. In 2004, CASP released their Blueprint for a Canadian National Suicide Prevention Strategy followed by a 2nd edition in 2009. The call for a national strategy remains a crucial rallying point of their agenda.