Suicide Prevention: Current Problems


September 17, 2019

Suicide Prevention Plans

National Paper on Youth Suicide

The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) published “A National Paper on Youth Suicide” that calls on governments at the national, provincial and territorial levels to take concrete action to prevent youth suicide in Canada. Failure to address the multi-faceted issues impacting indigenous communities has led to a suicide epidemic.

The paper consolidates research by the CCCYA members that led to the identification of three broad findings related to youth suicide:

  • the impact of traumatic childhood experiences,
  • the importance of service integration and
  • continuity and how the voices of children and youth needs to be at the front of change.
    National Paper on Youth Suicide: Calls to Action

Calls to Action

  1. The Government of Canada develop and implement a fully resourced National Suicide Strategy with designated funding to the provinces and territories to create their own, or to support existing strategies where applicable. Whether at the federal, provincial or territorial level, young people must be included in all stages of development and implementation.
  2. The Government of Canada develop and implement a cross-jurisdictional, standardized, data system and to compel provinces in the mandatory reporting of attempted and completed suicide.
  3. The Government of Canada shall engage in meaningful partnerships with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities experiencing elevated rates of suicidal behaviour of young people and develop interventions to eliminate these health disparities. This work should draw on the leadership and expertise of Indigenous youth and Elders whenever possible.

July 1, 2021

No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind

First Nation Advisory Council Report to the New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate. July 2021.

This report outlines some of the unique and complex context and jurisdictional circumstances related to mental health services for Indigenous people through five sections:

  1. Indigenous Suicide and Mental Health provides an overview of the extent of Indigenous youth suicide in Canada, a model and promising practices for addressing Indigenous youth suicide.
  2. Towards Effective Mental Health Services for Indigenous Youth, presents steps for improving Indigenous youth suicide beginning with using culture and language as a foundation for services.
  3. Culture as Foundation has been recognized as a protective factor in Indigenous youth mental health. This section also outlines the historical evolution of Indigenous health services and its associated jurisdictional complexities and lays out a case for more Indigenous involvement and partnerships in the design and delivery of Indigenous youth mental health services.
  4. Challenges in the New Brunswick’s public education system and in the criminal youth justice system are briefly discussed.
  5. Building on Progress to Date, calls on future work to be built on recent efforts to improve access and cultural competency of provincial youth mental health and addictions services.

The report contains thirteen high level Calls to Action for improving mental health service delivery and outcomes for Indigenous youth in New Brunswick, with a strong Call that a separate, Indigenous-led review in partnership with the Child and Youth Advocate’s Office be conducted to give time and space for all Indigenous people on and off-reserve to participate and contribute to the solutions for Indigenous youth.

An accompanying report provides a statistical overview of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick in relation to demographics, mental health related statistics and the social determinants of health.