Iqaluit, Nunavut (September 10, 2012) – In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day, the Government of Nunavut has reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy Action Plan (NSPS).
The NSPS is a joint collaboration between the Government of Nunavut (GN), Embrace Life Council (ELC), Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
“On World Suicide Prevention Day, we recognize that suicide in Nunavut touches all of us,” said Premier Eva Aariak. “Through collaboration with our partners and communities we will continue to address suicide in a holistic and comprehensive way with a particular focus on strengthening community supports for children and youth.” Since the plan was released in September 2011, the following progress has been made:
• The GN has increased support to the Embrace Life Council to provide $100,000 of additional core funding to ensure stable operation;
• Reviews of both the Nunavut Addictions and Mental Health Framework, and the Nunavut Mental Health Act are underway;
• The GN is collecting data on suicide, as well as contributing circumstances;
• Nunavut adapted ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) materials (Uqaqatigiiluk/Talk About it!) have been finalized and are now being used in training. The Uqaqatigiiluk schedule has been created and updated and is posted here;
• Twelve more trainers have been trained to provide ASIST workshops in our adapted Nunavut model; Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is also being offered throughout the territory by fourteen trainers.
• An adapted version of MHFA is being developed through a pan-territorial initiative with Yukon and Northwest Territories; and,
• The addition of two full-time indeterminate positions continue to be staffed in the Mental Health and Wellness division, including a Suicide Prevention Specialist, who provides ongoing support and direction to the Department of Health & Social Services (HSS) and interdepartmentally on issues related to suicide.
“The Government of Nunavut’s Tamapta mandate places a priority on addressing social issues at their root,” said Premier Eva Aariak. “Our Government remains committed to address the complex and emotional issue of suicide with the support of all of our partners.”