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Discussion Paper Released to Engage Nunavummiut on Development of Suicide Prevention Strategy

IQALUIT, Nunavut (April 14, 2009) – Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Katujjiqatigiit (Embrace Life Council) and the Government of Nunavut today released a discussion paper entitled Using knowledge and experience as a foundation for action: A discussion paper on suicide prevention in Nunavut.  The discussion paper is the first step in gathering feedback and input from Nunavummiut on what should be included in a single, comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.

The discussion paper shares what the Working Group has learned about why some people develop suicidal behaviour, and about what has been found to be effective in reducing the number of deaths that occur as a result of suicidal behaviour.

In addition to the text, the discussion papers has three appendices: the first presents statistics on deaths by suicide in Nunavut from 1960 to 2008, the second presents an overview of suicide prevention and intervention training courses delivered in Nunavut from 1994 to the present, and the third summarizes what the Working Group has learned about suicidal behaviour in Nunavut.

Based on research and discussions, the Working Group presents the following possible actions that may be included in a suicide prevention strategy for Nunavut include:

  • The territorial government could take a more focused and active approach to suicide prevention.
  • Youth – our most at-risk group – could be equipped with better skills to cope with adverse life events and negative emotions, and suicide alertness skills as well.
  • More Nunavummiut could become ‘mental health intervenors’, equipped with the skills to identify people at risk – and to connect them with the supports and services they need.
  • Counseling and mental health care services could be strengthened.
  • Community-based groups and initiatives could be given greater support.
  • Nunavummiut could be provided with more information relevant to suicide prevention.
  • We could learn more about many aspects of, and issues impacting on, suicidal behaviour in Nunavut – and what we can do to build resilience in our families.

The discussion paper is available on the GN and NTI websites, and from the following members of the Working Group:

Natan Obed Jesse Mike Jack Hicks
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Embrace Life Council Government of Nunavut

For further information:

Emily Woods
A/Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4900 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006

NR 09-05 SPS ENG Suicide Prevention Strategy (pdf)