Suicide Prevention: Background Content

National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy

February 23, 2022

Fed. Govt., NL, NT, NU, QC

The elevated rate of suicide among Inuit in Canada is the most urgent challenge facing our people and it demands a national response. The four Inuit regions in Canada (Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador), collectively known as Inuit Nunangat, have rates of suicide that range from five to 25 times the rate of suicide for Canada as a whole.
The National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy (NISPS) sets out a series of actions and interventions to address the high number of deaths by suicide among Inuit. The Strategy promotes a shared understanding of the context and underlying risk factors for suicide in Inuit communities and guides policy in the regional and national levels on evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention
The Strategy is designed to coordinate suicide prevention efforts at the national, regional, and community levels. It will integrate and provide support for existing community and regional efforts to prevent suicide. The specific objectives and actions ITK will take to prevent suicide among Inuit fall within six priority areas:
(1) creating social equity,
(2) creating cultural continuity,
(3) nurturing healthy Inuit children from birth,
(4) ensuring access to a continuum of mental wellness services for Inuit,
(5) healing unresolved trauma and grief, and
6) mobilizing Inuit knowledge for resilience and suicide prevention.
Although making progress within each priority area is critical to achieving success in preventing suicide among Inuit, our strategy envisions holistic, concurrent actions across all six priority areas as the only way to effectively lower our rates of suicide. ITK will advance each of the objectives in the priority areas through actions within its own scope and mandate and will partner with governments and Inuit regional organizations to advocate and support existing Inuit regional strategies and suicide prevention initiatives.
The strategy identified 29 ITK actions across 6 priority areas:
Create Social Equity (3)
Create Cultural Continuity (4)
Nurture Healthy Inuit Children (6)
Ensure Access to a Continuum of Mental Wellness Services for Inuit (5)
Heal Unresolved Trauma and Grief (3)
Mobilize Inuit Knowledge for Resilience and Suicide Prevention (8)

Other Background Content By Theme

Suicide Prevention Initiatives

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Resilience in Life: 2015-17 Annual Report on the State of Inuit Culture and Society

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SSH...Listen, We Have Something to Say! Youth Voices from the North

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