In 2008 the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Embrace Life Council, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police partnered to create the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy.

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Since then, the Partners have reviewed evidence-based research from many relevant sources, seeking information on methods that have successfully reduced suicide in other jurisdictions. They have also sought input from Nunavummiut through a discussion paper, community consultations, and targeted discussions with all key stakeholders involved with suicide prevention.

The Strategy is the culmination of two years of searching for the best possible ways to prevent suicide in Nunavut. It begins with the Partners’ vision for a healthier Nunavut – the vision that guided development of this entire Strategy. It then examines the current situation, and the historical and present-day factors that underlie and perpetuate it. This information forms the background for discussion of the Strategy’s approach and core components, the challenges to be overcome, and the concrete commitments undertaken by the Partners.

In 2014, the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy partners announced a one-year extension to the first phase of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan.

“There is no easy fix to this terrible crisis, but NTI and our partners in this strategy know that we need additional time to evaluate the action plan, to learn from what was accomplished and to incorporate these important lessons into our work as we move on to full implementation of the strategy. This partnership is essential. It will continue until we find meaningful solutions that reduce suicide in Nunavut,” said Towtongie.

“It is a priority of the Government of Nunavut and our partners to continue to work together to address suicide,” said Health Minister Monica Ell. “It is critical that Nunavummiut struggling with depression and addiction also have the support and understanding of their families, friends and community leaders.”

“We are committed to working with the partners and Nunavummiut in implementing the strategy and achieving our vision of a Nunavut in which the rate of suicide is the same or lower than the
rate for Canada as a whole,” said Embrace Life Council President Sandra Kownak. “The RCMP is committed to working closely with our partners and with all communities. The high rates of suicide in Nunavut continue and only by determining and implementing a meaningful and sustainable collective approach and solution, we will we be able to help those in need,” said Commanding Officer, C/Supt. Lindsey Brine.

Since beginning work on the action plan, the partners have addressed knowledge and service gaps in mental health and suicide prevention in Nunavut. In addition, considerable progress has
been made on all eight commitments outlined in the action plan.

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