Mr. Speaker, the federal framework for suicide prevention act received first reading last September. In the seven months since then, more than 2,000 Canadians have likely died by suicide. Suicide prevention is more than a mental health issue; it is a public health issue that costs our economy an estimated $2.4 billion each year.
The best way to combat suicidal behaviour is through open conversations. I recently participated in a bowlathon organized by the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, which raised $27,000 for suicide prevention efforts. What is more important than the funds raised, though, is that the 150 bowlers engaged many hundreds of donors in a vital conversation. For too long, we maintained a failed approach of not talking about suicide.
I ask all hon. members to join in a genuine solution and encourage conversations on these sensitive issues in their communities. The most important leadership this House can provide is by example.