In response to the drastic increase in deaths by suicide among Inuit, we have conducted the first extensive study on suicide in Inuit populations in the world. Our goal is to identify the reasons behind each death by suicide in order to better comprehend, predict, and prevent suicide in the future. To accomplish this goal, we used a ‘follow-back’ design, which looks retrospectively into the lives of both individuals who died by suicide and individuals with comparable backgrounds who are still living to identify risk and protective factors associated with the suicide.
The Qaujivallianiq Inuusirijauvalauqtunik (‘Learning from lives that have been lived’) was designed and conducted by McGill University, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Embrace Life Council, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., and the Government of Nunavut.
The project included all 120 suicides that occurred in Nunavut between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006. It also included 120 living individuals who had close dates of birth, came from the same community of origin, and were of the same gender as individuals in the suicide group (comparison group).