#54 – The Triptych of Death, Part Three: On Suicide

English Canada doesn’t give three inches of a shit about suicide.

It’s rather remarkable that the Canadian government does not consider suicide to be a national public health concern. Perhaps it’s because a disproportionate number of the 3500 successful suicides that did happen last year happened to people like the Inuit; Canada plus Indian has a funny tendency to sum up to sheer horror, after all. But plenty of white people off themselves too here in Canada, and they only tend to come up where there’s another issue that English Canada can pretend to care about instead.

In Canada, suicide is the 10th largest killer in the country. The numbers have stayed fairly stagnant over the years, excepting Nunavut – if Nunavut were its own country it would have the second-highest rate of suicide in the world. Suicide prevention in Canada is spotty at best even in white Canada, with Ontario and its 30% of Canada’s population completely without any sort of government efforts to stem the tide. Why anybody would kill themselves when they can live in Canada’s concrete paradise of highways, tenuous working conditions, and poor social interaction eludes anyone whose brain was replaced with a ham sandwich and nobody else.

Suicide is sometime brought up as an issue in Canada, but almost always in the form of someone being driven to suicide rather than systemic conditions that all Canadians have to weather. Never mind that suicide in Canada is at its worst regarding incidents of suicide in middle-aged people – let’s only talk about high-school aged kids offing themselves! Nobody wants to hear about Sadsack Steve hating his shitty desk job and his Chariot of Defeat and his deep, pounding loathing for humanity. That fifty-something lady tying a noose there is nowhere near makeup’d enough for CBC to deign to notice! And don’t even get me started on that Cree guy swinging from the rafters of a crumbling garage.

Of course, teenagers are important too. But they aren’t the population most at risk according to the figures, and their stories aren’t the stories of the most likely to feel like the afterlife is better planned for than their current one. Teenagers don’t tend to worry about whether they’ll be able to afford their mortgage this month. They also tend to go to school, which means that they are within spitting distance of someone who can provide a semblance of human interaction. But adults – the population struggling with underemployment and low wages, the group more likely to live in isolation and the folks who need something that isn’t provided – those people can go fuck themselves.

Like Canada always says, if you don’t have the Grit and Heart to live, you should probably just die.

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