Aiming for zero: a new approach to suicide prevention

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  • Maurice says:

    I’m 84 yrs old and have thought about suicide for many yrs.My life has been terrible for the last 50 yrs due to being bullied by my peers. I have tried to get professional help but to no avail. It’s got to a point that I’m thinking of suicide every day. My health is fairly good even do I don’t have any proper support and do not eat properly. I do pray a lot and it seems to keep me going.The health system in Canada is not getting any better. We need to do something about it

    • Sandra says:

      Maurice, even though I do not know you I felt I had to reach out. I am sorry to hear you are suffering and not getting the help you deserve. Clearly you have found the strength to get through one more day. I hope you use the same strength to reach out – be it a crisis line or your local emergency department. Thinking of you and sending you my prayers.

    • Imogene says:

      I have AD/HD and I feel like I sometimes have experienced workplace bullying, then my AD/HD peers confided that they have had the same experience. I wonder if there’s a certain personality type that attracts bullies. Hang in there. I had an interesting last year, and it was worth surviving because of all the blessings I’ve gotten this year.

  • Sarah Newbery says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I think that setting a target of zero is a good and worthy goal. One of the tremendous challenges of suicide is the ripple of pain that a suicide causes through a family and whole community (and particularly those communities where suicide rates are high and the burden of grief overwhelming). Great work is being done by the “Collateral Damage” ( project to help us to understand the ripple effect of suicide, and there are some great community based initiatives like SafeTALK that support students, teachers, clinic staff, community members to be able to safely and more confidently enter into a conversation about suicide with those about whom one may have concern outside of the hospital setting.

    Thanks again for a great article about a great “stretch” goal!

  • Karmi says:

    I wonder if physician assisted dying would make a difference. I think a lot of people think about suicide for a long time before and between attempts. If they knew they could have this option some time in the future, it might take the pressure off. From the moment they sign on, they are no longer alone, professional help is there for this decision pushed into the future. In time, we will know the answer by monitoring data from places that allow this like the Netherlands. We will know whether suicides are actually reduced rather than increased, just by giving individuals the legal option to commit suicide with help.

    • Carrie says:

      You mean physician assisted suicide!!! Man did you even read the article!!!? IT’s called “Aiming for zero: a new approach to suicide prevention.” The answer is helping to treat the symptoms, care for the person, so that individuals LIVE!!! None of us should play GOD.

    • Vanessa Milne says:

      In all countries, medical assistance in dying is only considered for people who have intolerable physical or psychological suffering, and for those who have exhausted conventional treatments. This would not apply to the overwhelming majority of people who are contemplating suicide.

    • Margaret says:

      Excellent suggestion, Karmi. Physician assisted dying should be a right for all citizens. Many suicides are people who are suffering from severe illnesses which should also include mental illnesses. Knowing that that assistance in dying is available, if desired, will often, I’m sure, prevent many suicides.


Vanessa Milne


Vanessa is a freelance health journalist and a form staff writer with Healthy Debate

Joshua Tepper


Joshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of North York General Hospital. He is also a member of the Healthy Debate editorial board.

Christopher Doig


Christopher is a Professor in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Community Health Sciences, and Medicine at Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

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