Suicide is a complex issue involving numerous factors and should not be attributed to any one single cause. Not all people who die by suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness and not all people with a mental illness attempt to end their lives by suicide.
People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings are suffering from tremendous emotional pain. People who have died by suicide typically had overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness. Suicide is not a moral weakness or a character flaw. People who consider suicide feel as though their pain will never end, and that suicide is the only way to stop the suffering.
A common problem with collecting and reporting statistics on suicide is that it is difficult to determine how accurate the numbers are. It is known that deaths by suicide are often under-reported or misreported. Suicide attempts may also go unreported leading to facts and figures that may not accurately capture the full picture. Due to the difficulty of collecting this type of data, even the most recent statistics may be two years old.
For more information on the accuracy and reliability of statistics, check out this article from the Centre for Suicide Prevention: Accuracy and Reliability of Suicide Statistics: Why it Matters
Canadian Suicide Facts
According to Statistics Canada, an average of around 4,000 Canadians die each year by suicide – over 11 deaths by suicide each day (Source: Leading causes of death, total population, by age group (statcan.gc.ca)
Suicide is one of the leading causes of premature death in Canada, and is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 24.
Canadians are about seven times more likely to die from suicide than to be the victim of a homicide.
Waterloo Region Suicide Facts
The average number of yearly emergency room visits for intentional self-harm within Waterloo Region between 2006-2015 was 775 visits per year.
The Waterloo Regional Police responded to an average of 1477 occurrences of suicide attempts per year between the years 2012-2016.
Between 2013-2015, the Office of the Chief Coroner reported an average of around 58 deaths by suicide per year in the region.