September 16th, 2020
Angus calls on Hajdu to implement the National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Little has happened since M-174 passed parliament a year ago. COVID has made things worse.
TIMMINS – NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay) is calling on the Liberal government to finally live up to their commitment to create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy. In a letter sent to the Minister of Health today, Angus reminded her of their support for the NDP's Motion 174 to create the strategy and stressed the urgent need of the tools and resources promised in the motion. These needs have only increased due to the health and economic crises caused by COVID-19.
“Canadians have come through one of the most stressful and uncertain times in memory. But we know that the COVID crisis is not over, and this coming winter could be a very hard time,” wrote Angus. “The stress of this unprecedented medical and economic crisis will have a considerable impact on the mental health of many Canadians. Therefore, I am writing to you to convey a sense of urgency on your government's need to live up to its promise to implement Motion 174, the National Suicide Prevention Action Plan.”
Passed on May 8, 2019, the NDP’s Motion 174 aimed to establish a National Suicide Prevention Action Plan that would deliver the tools and resources required to help Indigenous communities, mental health workers, minority communities, businesses, unions, teachers, parents, and so many others in their work to combat suicide and improve the mental health of Canadians. By supporting the NDP’s motion, the Liberals also committed to taking action and providing resources to establish culturally appropriate community-based suicide prevention programs as articulated by representative organizations of the Inuit, First Nations, and Métis peoples.
“The research is definitive – economic uncertainty can lead to increased suicide rates. When we factor in the isolation and social uncertainty brought on by COVID, the possibility that this will be a very dark winter for many Canadians is clear,” says Angus. “Indigenous communities have undertaken extraordinary measures to limit the spread of COVID into their communities. That meant closing communities off and limiting all travel. The social and health pressures from this isolation have hugely elevated the social pressures. Therefore, the implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Action Plan is needed now more than ever.”