CASP Statement on Physician Assisted Death
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) is pleased that the federal government legislation on medical assistance in dying, introduced in the House of Commons On Thursday April 14, 2016, recognizes suicide is a significant public health issue that can have lasting and harmful effects on individuals, families and communities. CASP would like to remind everyone that we are not speaking about suicide when we talk about physician assisted death. To provide the appropriately balanced ongoing discussion and policy/legislation developments, physician assisted death needs to take place in the context of the implementation of a key strategy for suicide prevention. Additionally, we are reminded that the six key recommendations of The Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Legislation have not yet had an opportunity to be released.
CASP is heartened by the fact that the proposed legislation is attempting to strike a balance between the wishes of Canadians who choose to seek medical assistance in dying with protecting the interests of vulnerable persons.
CASP will continue to provide a voice through this process and encourage suicide prevention and increased resources to be made available to all Canadians.
CASP thanks Calgary teen for taking action against Amazon
CASP reached out to CBC and Maggie Harder thanking her for her courage to challenge Amazon’s selling of insensitive and disrespectful suicide t-shirts. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention completely agrees with Maggie and applauds her approach. These shirts are very insensitive and can be very triggering, especially for those struggling or those bereaved by suicide. While humour is an important coping skill for all of us, these t-shirt designs cross a line and further stigmatize those struggling. There are other ways to begin dialogue about this important topic, such as the t-shirts in Waterloo Region that focus on the positive message “My Life Matters.” We are blessed to have young ambassadors in Canada and proud to have Maggie tackling this cause. Maggie, CASP would be happy to work with you on the movement to stop this material through our social media and website.
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CASP Announces Awards Winners at Annual General Meeting
Service Award: This award is awarded for outstanding leadership in suicide prevention, intervention or postvention at the community, regional or national level in Canada. This year CASP has elected two winners who have engaged in service delivery, advocacy, and service development that has led to a reduction in suicide or its harmful consequences; Susan Roach, Manager at Achieve Mental Wellness and Recovery Centre in Haldimand Norfolk, Ontario and Francoise Roy. Susan is described as having ‘walked the talk’ and is an inspiration to many who have had the privilege to work with and know her. She is a speaker who shares her story, connecting with many along the way. Her passion and expertise has realized a huge impact for so many including the poster campaign that Susan helped develop to tell the stories/journeys of individual members highlighting choices they have made to achieve wellness and recovery. Francoise Roy holds a master’s degree in training and has specialized in suicide prevention and development of prevention programs for 30 years. She has been involved in various organizations that work to develop the skills of workers and trainers in suicide prevention with a particular interest in sharing her knowledge with crisis workers.
Media Award: The purpose of the CASP Media Award is to promote and acknowledge responsible and positive media coverage on the topic of suicide. The media plays an important role in suicide prevention, through education and information – to help shatter the myths and taboo of suicide. This year’s award recipient is Ted Michaels, News Anchor for CHML 900 Radio in Hamilton who has been instrumental in doing just that. Ted has implemented a weekly show called Wellness Wednesdays highlighting mental health, mental illness and suicide featuring topic experts and individuals with lived experience. Ted’ show demonstrates the positive role media can play in providing education and making suicide an acceptable topic to speak about.
Dave Masecar Community Wellness Award acknowledges outstanding leadership in suicide prevention, intervention and/or postvention in and/or by a First Nations or Inuit Community that has led to a reduction in suicide or its harmful consequences. Congratulations to Cecile Guerin for her outstanding leadership in suicide prevention and community-capacity building across Nunavut, specifically for her tireless efforts in suicide prevention, postvention and intervention for Nunavummiut.
President’s Award – Awarded by the President each year to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of suicide prevention. Renee Ouimet, current CASP President, was delighted to give this award to Dr. Ian Manion. Ian is a strong champion for child and youth mental health issues and youth suicide prevention across Canada in both his clinical practice and as the founding director of the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health where he held the role for eleven years.
Congratulations and thank you to all of the Award winners for the significant work they do. We also wish to recognize those who take the time to submit nominations. In addition we wish to recognize that there are many individuals, communities and organizations that are working together making significant contributions to Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention in Canada that were not recognized here but play an important role each and every day. Collectively, we are making a difference.
Additionally, CASP would like to announce the following new board members who were voted onto the CASP Board at the annual general meeting: Ken Reddick, Francoise Roy, Sanj Malik, Normand d’Aragon and Nancy Moreau Battaglia. Welcome!
For more information please contact:
Tana Nash, CASP Executive Director at email@example.com or by phone at 519-884-1470 ext. 2143
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