Mr. Speaker, this week is suicide prevention week in Quebec. The theme is “Open your eyes”, which encourages people to pay attention and to eliminate taboos.
Although the suicide rate in Quebec is falling, it is still higher than in other provinces. Even more alarming is the fact that the suicide rate is even higher among first nations and members of the armed forces.
The suicide rate among aboriginals is three times higher than in the general population, and among aboriginal youth, it is five times higher.
Four percent of military personnel who served in Kandahar have thoughts of suicide, and 4.6% suffer from serious depression. In 2006, 10 soldiers committed suicide during their military service.
The Bloc Québécois is urging the government to open its eyes and take action to put an end to the psychological distress experienced by military personnel and aboriginals.