Residents of Canada are no strangers to suicide stories. Every year there are suicide attempts throughout the country. They occur among all races and age groups. The Canadian Medical Association is bracing itself for impending federal law changes associated with doctor assisted suicide. Protocols will be developed to deal with this issue. As of late 2014 there is a pending ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court regarding whether or not it is unconstitutional to prevent assisted suicide by law. It is possible that the Supreme Court of Canada might give the Parliament a period of one year to come up with new legislation.
A poll conducted by the Canadian Medical Association determined that if the country does legalize assisted suicide anywhere from 20% to 30% of doctors are willing to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide by administering a deadly amount of medication.
In June of 2014 a law passed in physician assisted suicide legal for adults suffering from a terminal condition.
Though assisted suicide is something that many Canadians embrace it is not as widely recognized as teen suicide stories and suicide survivor stories.
Teenage Suicide Stories
In April of 2013, 17 year old Rehtaeh Parsons killed herself three years after reportedly being the victim of rape at the hands of four teenagers. Following the rape she was reported to have felt rejected within her community, leading to depression. Her family conceded to taking her off of life support following her attempted suicide. The rape reportedly took place at a party that Rehtaeh and the boys attended in which alcohol was flowing freely. Following the rape Parsons’ family had to relocate to a new neighborhood as a result. Parsons even checked into a mental health facility a month before she killed herself.
Despite the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated the rape case for a year no charges were ever filed against the boys due to a lack of sufficient evidence. This left Parsons’ family devastated that she was not going to get justice.
In October of 2011, 15 year old Jamie Hubley of Ottawa, killed himself after years of bullying that started in grade school and continued all the way into high school. In grade school Jamie’s classmates bullied him because he was a male figure skater and in high school they bullied him for being gay. Prior to killing himself, Jamie published a suicide note on his blog. In the note he talked about the pain that he was feeling as a result of the bullying and stated that he was tired of life and he had had enough. In addition he included in the suicide note that he would prefer his parents not think his suicide was going to be their fault. In an attempt to get Jamie away from the bullying his parents had switched him from a private Catholic school to a public school to no avail.
In October of 2012, 15 year old Amanda Todd killed herself after being bullied at school. Prior to her suicide attempt Amanda posted a video to YouTube in which she stated, through a series of flash cards, that she was being tormented by her classmates after a school bully obtained a picture of Amanda with no shirt on and sent it to her fellow students. Amanda reportedly transferred schools more than once, but that still did not stop the bullying. This led to her beginning to drink alcohol and use drugs. A previous suicide attempt saw Amanda drinking bleach. When students at her school found out she had done this they simply said that she should just try drinking an alternative kind of bleach to the kind she did drink.
As a result of this suicide, local politicians contemplated creating an anti bullying strategy to be used in the country’s schools. The official opposition party of Canada then asked the Commons to lend their support to a study meant to help implement anti bullying strategies all over the country.
In September of 2013, 15 year old Todd Loik killed himself after repeatedly receiving harassing text messages and being bullied on Facebook. After his death, Loik’s mother told the media that her son prevented her from reading the taunting messages his peers left on his Facebook page. Loik’s mother spoke to Amanda Todd’s mother after her son killed himself.
In April of 2012 Reuters reported that a nearly 30 yearlong study of Canadian female pre-teens and teenagers determined suicide rates had greatly risen. From 1980 to 2008 the suicide rate of teen and pre teen girls raised considerably. The study determined that Canadian females between the ages of 10 and 19 commit suicide so much that the only bigger cause of death in that age group was fatal accidents. The suicide rate of males in that age group has always been smaller.
In December of 2014 an eighth grade student in Alberta killed herself after having been bullied at school, according to community members. The superintendent afterwards stated that she had had no reports of the girl being bullied.
Adult Suicide Stories
Suicide is not restricted to teenagers as employees of the felt that suicide was the only answer.
In April of 2013 Canadian resident Susan Griffiths headed to Switzerland to participate in a physician assisted suicide. The woman was suffering from a terminal brain disorder and wanted to be at peace. She and her daughter in law flew to Zurich so that Griffiths could visit family and friends one last time before successfully completing her doctor assisted suicide. Stories like this are the reason that many are pushing for Canada to legalize physician assisted suicide.
In December of 2007 a Canadian man named Gil Cornblum, who had been involved with insider trading later killed himself by jumping off a bridge onto the Toronto Highway. The man’s wife said he had been depressed and had attempted suicide twice while being investigated for criminal actions. Cornblum had previously worked as a lawyer and he had passed annual ethics tests conducted by the firm he worked for.
Military suicide e stories
In November of 2013 three of Canada’s war veterans committed suicide, including a Lt. Colonel named Stephanie Beauchemin. Several members of the Canadian Forces turned to suicide. Some of these members were suffering from mental health issues. Afghanistan war veteran Travis Halmrast killed himself in a correctional center where he was being held on domestic assault charges. Master Cpl. William Elliot killed himself because he was worried that a recent back injury would force him out of the military and he would no longer be able to support himself financially.
Warrant Officer Michael Robert McNeil killed himself because seven years prior, his cousin Warrant Officer Frank Mellish was killed in the line of duty and McNeil felt survivor’s guilt. On Christmas Day 2013 Retired Cpl. Leona MacEachern deliberately got into a head on collision with another driver. Her husband reported that it was her final desperate act and she did it intentionally.
Unsuccessful Suicide Attempts
It is not unheard of for people to commit suicide in Niagara Falls. In May of 2012 a man tried to kill himself by soaring over the Canadian Horsehoe falls and plunging 188 feet down. He is only the third person to ever try and kill himself this way without actually succeeding. Upon landing the unidentified man was there for two hours before being found. The injuries he suffered from this suicide attempt were injuries to his ribs and chest as well as a gashed open shoulder and head and collapsed lungs. Officials said the only reason the man survived is that he was not in the main current.
Suicide Prevention Strategy
In October of 2011 it was reported that Canada was taking steps to create a national strategy for suicide prevention. This was the goal of commit suicide. Increased funding for all suicide prevention programs is something else that Charette hopes to accomplish through his efforts.
Since February is Suicide Prevention month Canadian officials invited those living in New Brunswick to join the efforts to help prevent suicide throughout the country. Dialogue on the subject needed to be increased and the government also wants to help change peoples’ perceptions of the act of suicide. Starting in 2011 and continuing until 2018 is the government initiative of the Action Plan For Mental Health in New Brunswick. With 15 committees throughout the region each committee is involved in projects designed to help prevent suicide. Public activities are frequently held in an attempt to teach Canadians useful strategies for coping with suicide as well as advice on how to cope with the stress of everyday life without resorting to suicide to do so. People are learning to become more resilient, making them less likely to kill themselves or allow any of their loved ones to do it either.
Each suicide story is different but all are equally painful for those involved. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts (or knows someone who is) is strongly urged to reach out to professional suicide counselors for the necessary help and support.