Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Background
  • Suicide remains a leading cause of death for men, women and young people.
  • According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) (2007), suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among Canadians ages 15 to 24 years, 16% of all deaths for the age group of 25 to 44 years, and the age range with the highest number of suicides is the age group of 25 to 44 years.
  • A number of groups have been identified in the empirical literature as being at elevated risk for suicidal behaviour including youth, elderly, Aboriginal Peoples, gay/lesbian populations, and those who are incarcerated (White, 2003).
  • Suicide is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by physical (including genetic), psychological, spiritual, social, economic, historical, political, cultural and environmental factors.