CANADA: Inuit-Led Suicide Prevention Strategy to Focus on Mental Wellness, Social Equity

August 04, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

CBC News

In an effort to stem rising rates of suicide among Canada’s Inuit population, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, in collaboration with the federal department of health, have announced the creation of a national suicide prevention strategy to address suicide among the Inuit. Supported by funding from the federal government, the strategy calls for increasing mental health services in Inuit communities and addressing risk factors specific to that population, such as a collective history of trauma and social inequity. It identifies six priorities for reducing suicide: fostering social equity, promoting cultural continuity, raising healthy Inuit children, ensuring access to mental health services, healing trauma and grief, and engaging local sources of knowledge and resilience. Inuit community members and government representatives who unveiled the plan emphasized the importance of self-determination and unity in tackling suicide rates. Said Johannes Lampe, president of the Nunatsiavut government and a survivor of his son’s suicide, “I’m sure many of you have gone through that same path thinking that you are alone. But we are not alone. We are a whole nation.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide prevention among racial and ethnic groups.