The Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on December 14, 2012, requiring the Government of Canada to enter into consultations with relevant federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations to inform the development of a federal framework for suicide prevention. Introduced to Parliament as Bill C-300, the Act recognizes that suicide, in addition to being a mental health issue, is a public health issue and a health and safety priority. It is expected that a federal framework for suicide prevention will serve as a plan to guide Government of Canada efforts in six key areas described within the Act:
Federal Role in Suicide Prevention:
The Government of Canada provides direct health services to federal populations (First Nations living on reserve; military personnel, veterans, and their families; federally incarcerated persons). It also collects and distributes information on rates of suicide and self-harm, invests in research, and supports community-based mental health promotion programs and activities.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is leading consultations on behalf of the Government of Canada. Consultations commenced in April 2013 and will continue into the spring of 2014. These consultations offer the opportunity to share experiences and expertise towards the development of a federal framework for suicide prevention.