MP Harold Albrecht applauds creation of new suicide prevention hotline

Taken From: New Hamburg Independent

Canada is getting a national suicide prevention service, and Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht is glad to see the federal government moving forward on an issue that he’s championed for many years.

The federal Liberal government announced Nov. 24 that it will support the development of a national suicide prevention service, allowing texting, chatting and phone calls that will act as a hotline for Canadians with suicidal thoughts.

“Too often, those coping with thoughts of suicide face their struggles alone. It should never be the case that someone, in a very dark moment, reaches out to a local suicide-prevention help line and is met with an answering machine,” said Albrecht in a press release.

During his 10 years in Parliament, the Conservative Party MP has advocated for suicide prevention and awareness — including his Private Members Bill C-300, which passed into law in December 2012. That act required Canada’s government to create a federal framework for suicide prevention, a process that made a major step forward with the government’s recent announcement.

Since Bill C-300, Albrecht has continued to work alongside suicide prevention organizations, raising awareness and reducing the stigma around suicide. This past summer he petitioned the government for the national 24/7 hotline that Canadians can call if they have suicidal thoughts.

The service is expected to launch in 2017, and is intended the help reduce the approximately 4,000 Canadians that die each year by suicide.

“Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council is proud that Harold’s work on Bill C-300 has contributed to this week’s announcement of a national suicide prevention service,” said Tara Nash, executive director of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council in a Nov. 25 press release.

“Countries around the world that have made great strides in the reduction of suicide deaths have one central line and we are excited that this essential service is coming to Canada.”