“Canada is one of the few developed countries that does not have a national suicide prevention strategy.” Resilience in Life. Executive Summary. January 2021
Aug. 31, 2022: The CRTC is implementing a new 9-8-8 number for mental health crisis and suicide prevention. The CRTC is requiring service providers to complete the transition to 10-digit local dialing in Nfld. & Labrador, Northern Ontario and Yellowknife area by May 31st, 2023. Once the transition is complete, service providers will have six months to make the necessary changes to their networks to enable callers to dial or text 9-8-8.
July 26, 2023: Recommendation 9 from Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology: “Doing What Works: Rethinking the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention”
That the updated Framework acknowledge the crisis of Indigenous overrepresentation in Canada’s suicide rate, and:
- recognize the expertise and knowledge of community members by engaging directly with Indigenous experts with lived and living experience in suicide prevention;
- integrate life promotion into suicide prevention models;
- provide flexible financial support for programming that can be devised and managed by community members autonomously;
- create programming designed to train Indigenous community members in mental healthcare and intervention; and
- ensure a trauma-informed, culturally-appropriate approach when providing care to Indigenous peoples.
On Jan. 28, 2021 Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.’s (NTI) released “2015–16/2016–17 Annual Report on the State of Inuit Culture and Society – Resilience on Life” that focuses on pathways to reducing suicide among Nunavut Inuit. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the territory and remains the most urgent challenge facing Nunavummiut. It is a symptom of wider social and economic inequities that cause distress among too many Nunavut Inuit. This report provides clarity about the causes of suicide risk and explores solutions for reducing suicide through Inuit-specific, evidence-based policy approaches.
Other Suicide Statistics
- Suicide rates among First Nations youth are 5 to 7 times higher than non-Indigenous youth and the Inuit youth suicide rate is 11 times the national average. (Campaign 2000 Eliminate Poverty, Nov, 2016)
- 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.
- Heath authorities in Nunavik, the Quebec region that is home to the province’s Inuit communities, have already sent extra mental-health resources to one hard hit village, Puvirnituq, a village on the shores of Hudson’s Bay with 1,779 residents that has had at least 10 suicides since the beginning of 2018. (CP Oct. 22, 2018)
- First Nations suicide rates are three time higher than for non-Indigenous people between 2011 and 2016. (StatsCan 2019)