Topic 3: Life Promotion

Finding ways to implement protective factors in tangible ways is a key part of life promotion. Life promotion acts in tandem with suicide prevention; where suicide prevention is specifically focused on prevention, intervention and postvention with individuals, families or communities who are at high risk of suicide, life promotion encompasses the activities and general messages that are put out to people in order to encourage healthy living and make the day-to-day more fulfilling. 

Life promotion activities are most successful in an Indigenous context when they are conceptualized and implemented by community members and community-based organizations. This is not to say that workers from outside the community cannot have a hand in developing and delivering programming; rather, strategies and final decisions on what is appropriate should be informed by relevant cultural practices (Centre for Suicide Prevention). 

Some examples of life promotion activities include:

  • Men’s and women’s groups
  • On-the-land healing programs
  • Traditional skills workshops (sewing, beading, metalwork, woodwork, hunting, cabin building, language learning, traditional food preparation, etc.)
  • Opportunities to connect with Elders
  • Setting time and space aside for youth to hang out in a safe, healthy environment
  • Sporting events 
  • Competitions and contests (photography, writing, other creative pursuits)

Which of these are already being implemented in the community? What opportunities are there for more life promotion activities?