OTTAWA, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) joins health professionals and the public around the world in calling for attention to this pressing issue. Just under 4,000 people die by suicide in Canada each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34 years but most of those who die by suicide are 50 to 54 years of age.
"There is much that can be done when it comes to suicide prevention." says Dr. Kerry Mothersill, President of the CPA. "First and foremost in Canada, we need to do a better job getting mental health care to people who need it. The vast majority of people who die by suicide have a mental disorder and when it comes to mental disorders, we do have treatments that work. In part because of stigma, but also because treatments are not sufficiently funded by public and private health insurance, less than half of people with mental health problems actually get the psychological help they need" continued Dr. Mothersill.
"The Canadian Psychological Association has been working hard to convince government, employers and insurers that we need to do a better job insuring needed psychological care," says CPA's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Karen Cohen. "In 2013, we commissioned a report that costs out several models to deliver effective psychological care in Canada. We were very glad to see that, as of October 2104 the federal government will double the coverage for psychological services that it extends to its hundreds of thousands of employees. This commitment to the mental health of its employees promises great benefit to individuals but also to the success of families and workplaces."
Psychological treatments work well for severe and mild cases of depression. They work as well as medication in treating depression and better than medication in preventing relapse. When psychological treatments are used with medication for bipolar disorder, patients tend to better follow through on treatment, feel less burdened by their illness and have lower suicide rates. Psychological treatments work as well as medication in treating different kinds of anxiety.
The costs of providing effective care are far less than the costs of untreated mental disorders on individuals, families, the workplace and the economy. For information on how to recognize signs of mental illness or suicide risk, or for information on how to get help for yourself or someone else, visit http://www.cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/FactSheets/PsychologyWorksFactSheet_Suicide.pdf
The Canadian Psychological Association is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. With almost 7,000 members and affiliates, CPA is Canada's largest professional association for psychology.
SOURCE: Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
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