Nunatsiaq News
LETTERS: Nunavut January 14, 2014 - 2:47 pm

Embrace Life Council clarifies position on suicide prevention

"The board fully supports our executive director"


The board of directors of the Embrace Life Council would like to take this opportunity to respond to the Nunatsiaq News article of Jan. 10, 2014, “Embrace Life says suicide causing a “crisis situation” in Nunavut.”

The board stands behind the quotes attributed to our executive director, Jenny Tierney, and would like to clarify that contrary to the comments posted below the article, at no time did Ms. Tierney blame the Government of Nunavut for the high number of suicides in Nunavut.

It is unfortunate that Nunatsiaq News chose to spin a quote in a way that creates division among people at a time when Nunavummiut need to pull together even more in the face of the recently released suicide statistics for 2013.

The board of the Embrace Life Council recognizes that addressing the risk factors that lead to suicide in Nunavut is an issue that we all must be engaged on and committed to in order to achieve the vision of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy, which is:

A Nunavut in which suicide is de-normalized, where the rate of suicide is the same as the rate for Canada as a whole — or lower. This will be a Nunavut in which children and youth grow up in a safer and more nurturing environment, and in which people are able to live healthy, productive lives because they have the skills needed to overcome challenges, make positive choices, and enter into constructive relationships.

This will also be a Nunavut in which families, communities and governments work together to provide a wide-reaching and culturally appropriate range of services for those in need.

The board fully supports our executive director and is committed to, not only the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy, but also the partnership that we have developed with the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the creation and implementation of the NSPS and its action plan.

We look forward to continuing that partnership beyond March 31, 2014 and we would ask Nunavummiut to come together to address suicide prevention in Nunavut rather than point fingers, as we all have a role to play in the process.

Sandra Kownak
Embrace Life Council

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