NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns made the following statement:
“Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, and every day, we stand with those struggling with suicidality and suicidal thoughts. To everyone who has or is battling with their mental health, we support you and will continue to advocate to ensure all Canadians have access to help when they need it most. We also hold all those who have lost loved ones to suicide in our thoughts.
Every day, an average of ten Canadians die by suicide. For every person lost, many more experience suicidal thoughts but are unable to get help. Now more than ever, it’s important that we work together to stop preventable deaths and fight for those who are at most risk, like LGBTQ2IA+ youth and members of Indigenous communities.
But while families have lost loved ones, the federal government has not followed through on their promises to deliver additional support. In 2018, New Democrats called on the Liberal government to implement a National Suicide Prevention Strategy, which received unanimous support in the House of Commons. In the last election, they campaigned on providing $4.5 billion in mental health funding. But the Liberals still haven’t delivered on either. Instead of increasing resources and support, they have maintained the cuts to the Canada Health Transfer.
While the Liberals have been slow to support mental health, especially during a global pandemic, people have lost their lives. It is time for the government to take a ‘not one more’ approach to suicide.
New Democrats will keep urging the Liberals to help the provinces and territories deliver better mental health services by providing them with adequate funding and implementing a National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
We stand with all those struggling with their mental health – we see you and support you. You are not alone.”