Examining variations in immigrants’ lower risk of suicide-related behaviours

Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort (CanCHEC), this article provides an understanding of suicide-related behaviours, namely suicide ideation and completed suicides, among immigrants. Overall, immigrants aged 15 years and older were less likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to report having had suicidal thoughts and […]

Effect of helping suicidal people using text messaging: An evaluation of effects and best practices of the Canadian suicide prevention Service’s text helpline

Background Empirical research on best practices in suicide prevention text intervention is scarce. We present analyses of exchanges concerning suicide on the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) text helpline. Objective To describe the users of the CSPS text service, explore the perceived impact of the service, and identify intervention characteristics associated with a greater likelihood […]

ACT for mental health federal plan for universal mental health & substance use health: Background paper

Under the Canada Health Act, mental health care is only covered by public health insurance when it is provided by physicians and/or in hospitals, Millions of Canadians don’t have a family doctor2 and can wait months, or more, to see a psychiatrist. Family doctors face challenges in caring for patients with mental health concerns, and publicly […]

Disrupted attachments: A social context complex trauma framework and the lives of Aboriginal peoples in Canada

The idea of “disrupted attachments” speaks to the multiple levels on which the historic and contemporary assaults on Aboriginal peoples in Canada have resonated. Not only have the policies of colonialism expressly aimed to sever the attachment of Canada’s First Nations to their land, customs, culture, modes of self-governance, languages and ways of life, but […]

Final report of the expert panel on MAID and mental illness

On March 17, 2021, Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) received Royal Assent and came into force. This Bill amended Canada’s original 2016 MAiD legislation, Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying). The effect of Bill C-7 […]

Medical assistance in dying and mental disorder as the sole underlying condition: An interim report. Report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying

The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (the Committee) was re-created in March 2022 and tasked with reviewing “the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to  medical assistance in dying and their application, including but not limited to issues relating to mature minors, advance requests, mental illness, the state of palliative care in […]

Namwayut: A pathway to reconciliation

Reconciliation belongs to everyone. In this profound book, Chief Robert Joseph, globally recognized peacebuilder and Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk People, traces his journey from his childhood surviving residential school to his present-day role as a leader who inspires individual hope, collective change, and global transformation. Before we get to know where we are going, […]

Circumstances surrounding fire-related suicides, 2011 to 2020

Fatal fires are tragic events that are devastating to individuals, families, and communities. From 2011 to 2020, there were on average 220 fire-related deaths in Canada each year. While the majority of fire-related deaths were classified as unintentional, 1 in 6 were classified as intentional (i.e., suicide or homicide). Unlike unintentional fire-related deaths, intentional fire-related deaths result from an individual creating fire with intent […]

Indigenous population continues to grow

Indigenous peoples, their communities, cultures and languages have existed since time immemorial in the land now known as Canada. The term “Indigenous peoples” refers to three groups—First Nations people, Métis and Inuit—who are recognized in the Constitution Act. However,  while these groups are representative of the Indigenous population as a whole, each is tremendously diverse. […]

Experiences of harm reduction service providers during dual public health emergencies in Canada

Harm reduction is a critical piece of the continuum of care for those experiencing harms related to substance use. This report is intended for ministers of health,  chief public health officers, individuals working in health policy and system planning, and decision makers from municipal to federal levels. It provides them with an understanding of how […]

How the Vatican encouraged the colonization of Indigenous lands and enabled the Crown to keep them

An abridged trip through 500 years of papal and legal history to understand why Pope Francis faces calls to renounce the Doctrine of Discovery, which underpins Europe’s heist of the Americas and a mass dispossession of Indigenous peoples that remains foundational to Canadian sovereignty

Entheogens and psychedelics in Canada: Proposal for a new paradigm

After decades of prohibition, scientific and academic inquiry into the psychedelic sciences has been reignited in the West. Alongside research, clinicians are being permitted to study the effects of psychedelic substances in humans, and the door has been opened to deliver psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health needs. However, despite excitement for the professional use of […]

Reflecting back to move forward with suicide behavior estimation for First Nations in Canada

While many countries produce suicide rates, within country estimation practices may privilege the dominant society and fail to report suicide estimates for populations historically discriminated against. In Canada, national suicide mortality studies are rarely reported for Indigenous populations. Yet, this population is known for high suicide behavior. Administrative, census and survey data are available but […]

The Cedar Project: Relationship between child apprehension and attempted suicide among young Indigenous mothers impacted by substance use in two Canadian cities

Indigenous leaders are gravely concerned over disproportionate representation of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare systems. Forced separation from children is deeply traumatizing for mothers and detrimental to the wellbeing of Indigenous families, communities and Nations. This study examined relationships between child apprehension and suicide attempt within a cohort of young Indigenous women impacted by […]

Youth suicide in Canada: Distinctions among boys and girls

In Canada, boys account for almost three quarters of suicides among those aged 15-24 years. However, non-fatal suicide-related behaviours also onset in youth but are more common in girls. Thus far, there has been little empirical investigation of what produces this gender paradox. This report summarizes two recently published studies in which ICES tackles the […]

Mental health and suicide prevention in men: Evidence brief

Of the estimated 4,000 suicide deaths in Canada each year, 75 per cent are men. Suicide is the country’s second leading cause of death for men aged 15-39 (after accidental death). Research into sex differences in suicidal behaviour has revealed a gender paradox, wherein men are more likely to die by suicide, and women are […]

Suicide postvention resources for Canadian communities

The Mental Health Commission of Canada completed an environmental scan of resources and programs targeted towards postvention after a suicide loss. Postvention refers to “suicide prevention activities that provide support for people affected by suicide (e.g., those bereaved in the aftermath of suicide loss). These activities are crucial in helping to support and heal those […]

Mental health and substance use during COVID-19 Summary report 6: Spotlight on 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada

The sixth report in this series focuses on the effects of COVID 19 on the 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada. The report includes a cross-section of findings taken across seven periods between October 2020 and September 2021. The survey results show that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the substance use health and mental health […]

Surveillance of suicide in Canada

The role of the Public Health Agency of Canada is to promote health, prevent and control chronic diseases and injuries, strengthen intergovernmental collaboration on public health, and facilitate national approaches to public health and policy planning. Public health surveillance of disparate data sources is used to estimate the magnitude of suicide-related behaviours, determine the distribution, […]

Communication is key: Youth-led review of the government of Nunavut’s interagency information sharing protocol for suicide prevention

It was my observation through my role at the Nunavut Representative for Children and Youth’s Office that Nunavut’s Interagency Information Sharing Protocol (IISP) has the potential to positively impact young people, but it is not being meaningfully implemented in Nunavut communities. I also observed that there is also a lack of youth involvement in policy-making. […]

Mental health and substance use during COVID-19: Summary report 5. Spotlight on suicidal ideation and substance use

The objectives of this report are to: • Spotlight the intersection of suicidal ideation and substance use among different populations over the course of the pandemic • Highlight community resilience through the Meadow Lake Roots of Hope project • Continue to emphasize the broader intersection between mental health and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic […]

It’s our time education toolkit

The AFN Toolkit consists of 22 learning modules that have been designed to enhance the understanding of important First Nations topics to ensure both students and teachers are learning in and out of the classroom. Retrieved from https://education.afn.ca/afntoolkit/learning-modules/

Running on empty: How community mental health organizations have fared on the frontlines of COVID-19. [Full report]

A new report by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) reveals how not-for-profit mental health workers and organizations have been impacted by and responded to the pandemic. Entitled Running on Empty: how community mental health organizations have fared on the frontlines of the pandemic, the research draws on in-depth interviews across all provinces and the Yukon […]