Call for national prevention strategy

Published March 1, 2012

Cynthia Patterson, suicide prevention program co-ordinator for the Council of the North, is urging all Anglicans in Canada to support legislative efforts to create a national suicide prevention strategy. “The church is amazingly placed to activate a wide advocacy network,” she says.Two private members’ bills addressing the need for a national strategy were tabled in the House of Commons last year by Conservative Harold Albrecht and the NDP’s Megan Leslie. One of the bills is expected to come up in the House for second reading soon. Patterson is hoping to mobilize Anglicans across the country to contact their MPs and urge them to support this proposed legislation. “Until now, Canada has ignored both the UN and WHO [World Health Organization] guidelines that recognize suicide as a global health crisis and that call upon every country to have both a national strategy for suicide prevention and an adequately funded national coordinating body,” said a statement from the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. The organization is urging MPs to support these bills and Canadians to sign Albrecht’s petition at (under private members’ business) or to send letters of support to Ms. Leslie’s office.


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