Assented to 2012-12-14
An Act respecting a Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention
This enactment establishes a requirement for the Government of Canada to develop a federal framework for suicide prevention in consultation with relevant non-governmental organizations, the relevant entity in each province and territory, as well as with relevant federal departments.
Whereas suicide is a complex problem involving biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors, and can be influenced by societal attitudes and conditions;
Whereas Canadians want to reduce suicide and its impact in Canada, and suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility;
Whereas suicide is preventable by knowledge, care and compassion;
Whereas concerted, collaborative action by committed communities, governments, organizations and individuals across Canada will help prevent deaths by suicide, and assist in educating and comforting those who have been affected by suicidal behaviour;
Whereas suicide is a significant public health issue in Canada and the grief and trauma associated with it produce long-term social costs and devastating effects on surviving individuals and communities;
Whereas the Parliament of Canada affirmed its respect for life by unanimously adopting Motion No. 388, in 2009, which called for meaningful deterrents and punishment for those who encourage vulnerable individuals to commit suicide;
And whereas a federal plan designed to disseminate information, promote the use of research, share best practices and affect public attitudes towards suicide and its prevention is in the interest of all Canadians;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act.
FEDERAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
2. The Government of Canada must establish a federal framework for suicide prevention that
(a) recognizes that suicide, in addition to being a mental health issue, is a public health issue and that, as such, it is a health and safety priority; and
(b) designates the appropriate entity within the Government of Canada to assume responsibility for
(i) providing guidelines to improve public awareness and knowledge about suicide,
(ii) disseminating information about suicide, including information concerning its prevention,
(iii) making publically available existing statistics about suicide and related risk factors,
(iv) promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange across domains, sectors, regions and jurisdictions,
(v) defining best practices for the prevention of suicide, and
(vi) promoting the use of research and evidence-based practices for the prevention of suicide.
3. Within 180 days after the day on which this section comes into force, the Government of Canada must enter into consultations with relevant non-governmental organizations, relevant entities within the governments of the provinces and territories and relevant federal departments, in order to share information and align the elements of the framework described in section 2 with existing efforts that relate to suicide prevention.
4. Within four years after the coming into force of this Act and every two years thereafter, the entity designated in accordance with paragraph 2(b) must report to Canadians on its progress and activities related to the federal framework for suicide prevention.
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