Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CAMH Study: More Than 230,000 Ontario Adults Considered Suicide in 2013

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CAMH Study: More Than 230,000 Ontario Adults Considered Suicide in 2013

Article excerpt

Suicidal thoughts not uncommon in Ontario

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TORONTO - A new study from Canada's largest mental health and addiction research centre suggests more than 230,000 Ontario adults "seriously contemplated suicide" in 2013.

The Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says that amounted to 2.3 per cent of Ontario's adult population.

CAMH says its mental health survey, started in 1977, was based on responses from 3,021 Ontario adults who were asked specifically about suicide for the first time.

"We felt it was important to include a specific question about suicide so that we can better understand the scope of the issue," said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, CAMH scientist and co-principal investigator of the study.

The centre says the results also reveal a sharp increase in self-rated poor mental health, from 4.7 per cent in 2003 to 7.1 per cent in 2013, or 716,000 Ontario adults.

CAMH says the increase was especially evident during the past five years among those aged 18 to 29, rising from about three per cent in 2009 to 12 per cent in 2013.

Hamilton calls the rising rates among young adults a troubling trend.

"This could be an indication that young adults and youth transitioning to adulthood need more support from family, friends, and health professionals when it comes to their mental health and overall wellbeing."

The CAMH study also shows the rate of cannabis use among Ontario adults climbed to 14 per cent last year from 8.7 per cent in 1996. And, while 40 per cent of 2013 users report using cannabis less than once per month, the percentage reporting daily use was 19 per cent.

"The fact that we are seeing a steady increase in cannabis ... underscores the need for a public health approach to cannabis control," said Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH senior scientist and co-principal investigator of the CAMH Monitor.

In early October, CAMH called for marijuana to be legalized with strict conditions. …

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