Year: 2018 Source: Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2018). 27(2): 112-121. SIEC No: 20180303

Objective: Trends in rates of adolescent suicide and undetermined deaths in Canada from 1981 to 2012 were examined, focusing specifically on variations between Canadian regions. Exploratory hypotheses were formulated for  regional variability in adolescent suicide rates over time in Canada. Methods: A descriptive time trend analysis using public domain vital statistics data was performed. All deaths from 1981 to 2012 among 15 to 19 year olds coded as suicides or undetermined intent according to the International Classification of Diseases, 9th and 10th Revisions were included.

Results: While there was an overall stability in adolescent suicide and undetermined death rates across Canada, regional analyses showed that Quebec experienced a 7.6% annual reduction between 2001 and 2012 while the Prairies and Atlantic provinces experienced significant annual increases since 2001. Ontario and British Columbia have had non-significant fluctuations since 2001. The trends remained similar overall when excluding undetermined deaths from the analyses.

Conclusions: Variations in adolescent suicide trends across provinces were found. Factors such as provincial suicide action and prevention legislation contributing to these variations remain to be studied, but these regional  differences point towards the need for better consistency of suicide prevention strategies across the country.