Feds, not Facebook, should lead suicide strategy: Kajouji

The Canadian government — not Facebook — should be taking the lead on suicide prevention, says the brother of an Ottawa student who took her own life.

“The frustrating part for me is that it’s got to come down to our government officials, our health workers, our police,” said Marc Kajouji, whose sister, Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji, committed suicide in 2008 by jumping into the Rideau River.

“Everyone has to work together.”

The social media site boasting more than 800 million users launched a new tool Tuesday, allowing users to hit a “report” button when they see suicidal content.

Facebook sends the distressed user a link to chat with someone from the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or over the phone.

The toll-free hotline is open 24/7 and Canadians and Americans can use it.

“It’s a great tool. It will definitely save lives,” said Kajouji.

Conservative MP Harold Albrecht has introduced a private member’s bill, C-300, designed to create a federal framework on suicide prevention.

Albrecht told the Sun the government should provide leadership and coordination for suicide prevention, but says expecting any level of government to provide all the answers is “unrealistic.”

“We all have a job to do, every one of us as individual Canadians. And I think simply by having the conversation, we’re raising awareness, we’re removing the silence and the secrecy around it. And that’s part of the move forward,” said Albrecht.

The bill’s second hour of debate will take place in early February.

“I think we’re at the tipping point of potentially drastically reducing the 4,000 suicides that happened in Canada or the million that happened in the world (last year),” said Kajouji.

On average, 10 Canadians die each day from suicide.

For more information, check out yourlifecounts.org



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