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November 14, 2014
Report from Toronto Public Health urges action on suicide prevention
A new report prepared by Toronto Public Health called Suicide Prevention in Toronto shows that suicide is a leading cause of premature death in Toronto, with an average of about 220 suicide deaths annually. That is more than four times the number of people who died from homicide and three times the number who died from motor vehicle crashes.
"Suicide is preventable. Yet, despite its significant impact on society, suicide remains one of the most important, but least talked about population health problems," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "This report shows that there is strong evidence that restricting access to the common means of suicide death, such as subway tracks and certain medications, combined with public and health professional education, can be effective in preventing suicide."
While suicide affects young and old, it is the second leading cause of death for young people in Toronto. According to the report, one in 10 students indicated that they had seriously considered suicide. In addition, the report says men experience higher rates of death from suicide, whereas women experience higher rates of non-fatal suicidal behaviour.
"Suicide is the tip of the iceberg in the continuum of suicide-related behaviours," said Dr. McKeown. "Efforts are needed across many sectors to reduce the overall burden of suicide in Toronto."
The report, which provides recommendations for local suicide prevention and intervention strategies in a variety of settings, will be before Toronto's Board of Health at its November 17 meeting. The report is available at http://bit.ly/1xw3gU2. This news release is also available on the City's website: http://bit.ly/1BnTHeJ
The line of balconys lead up on the east side of the mall. Police are investigating on the second balcony from the top while security keep the area roped off