Why do some provinces have a high number of suicides?
Canada’s suicide rate is highest in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
The country has one of the highest rates of death by suicide in the world.
In the first quarter of 2018, there were 1,093 suicides in Canada, an increase of 6 per cent compared to the same period last year.
That compares to 636 suicides in the same quarter of 2017, the agency said in its latest suicide report.
In Ontario, there have been 489 suicides over the past five years, up 13 per cent.
And in Manitoba, there are 783 suicides per 100,000 people, a rise of 12 per cent from the same year last year, the province’s chief coroner said.
It’s an alarming increase, said Dr. Gary Hahn, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba.
He says it’s also one of Canada’s worst suicides rates.
“It’s a very challenging situation for the public health system,” he said.
Hahn said the number of people who commit suicide is likely to rise, and some people may be reluctant to seek help, because of stigma.
“In terms of stigma, it’s very difficult to find somebody to talk to, to talk about it with, because they know that if they don’t get help, they’re not going to get help from the system, so that’s really a challenge,” he explained.
In 2017, there was an average of 6.4 suicides per day.
This year, there’s been an average rate of 6 deaths per day, according the agency.
Hanna said suicide rates in Canada are high in large urban centres and in rural areas, where many people are struggling to make ends meet.
Hennings said the government should continue to increase its funding for suicide prevention programs.
“There is no doubt that suicide is a very serious problem, but we do have to take action,” he told The Canadian Press.
“The solution is more resources and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”