POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 47 Understanding Suicide in Nova Scotia Statistical information about suicide in Nova Scotia is available, including data from provincial sources (described below) as well as Statistics Canada at the federal level. Key points are summarized below to describe suicide and suicide attempts in the province, as well as trends over time. Suicide mortality in Nova Scotia between 2007 - 20161 indicate: • 1,124 Nova Scotians lost their lives to suicide, an average of 112 per year. • Suicide rates fluctuate each year, but the overall trend is upward. • The majority of suicides (77%) were by males, with 23% of suicides by females. However, in an earlier 10-year period (1994-2004), only 16% of suicides were by females. • 65% of suicides occurred in urban areas, where 69% of the population lives, compared to 35% of suicides in rural areas where 31% of the population lives. • The following populations had the highest rates of death by suicide: - Individuals between the ages of 45–59 years; - Males across all age groups except 10–14 years; - Individuals with an annual income of $30,000 or less; -While rates are highest among those with higher educational attainment, actual numbers of deaths are highest among those with no certificate, diploma, or degree. • The most commonly used method for suicide is hanging/strangulation/suffocation, followed by poisoning and firearms for men, and poisoning and drowning/submersion for women. • 68% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosed mental illness in the two years prior to their death. In that group, anxiety and depression were the most prevalent conditions.ii (continued) 1 Vital Statistics Nova Scotia, Statistics Canada Census 2016 ii Some individuals without a mental illness diagnosis may have been living with an undiagnosed mental illness.