Mr. Speaker, prior to the COVID pandemic, it was estimated that 10 people on average died by suicide every day in Canada. However, we know the numbers are likely higher as many cases go unreported due to the stigma attached to suicide and mental health. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults, and males account for 75% of all suicides.
Since the pandemic began, the existing mental health crisis across Canada has only become worse. Crisis hotlines have experienced a 200% increase in calls, which has led to increased wait times. These statistics are alarming and we need to do better.
I recently tabled a motion in the House that would consolidate all existing suicide prevent services into one national suicide prevention hotline, with a simple to remember three-digit phone number, 988. When minutes count, a three-digit number could make the difference between a life saved or a life lost. The United States has taken real action on this and there is no reason why colleagues in the House cannot rally together and do the same.
My inbox is overwhelmed with messages from Canadians who have had experiences with suicide. I know that with the support of all colleagues in the House, we can do this. We have the opportunity to take real action right now. Let us work together and bring 988 to Canada.