Suicide prevention should be a community matter


The suicide epidemic touches everyone directly or indirectly. For front-line workers, you want to be able to do more and perhaps at least know some of the answers as to why so many people commit suicide.

There are conferences, workshops, seminars, meetings, and sometimes walks to show we are trying to do something to prevent suicides from happening too often.

Governments have tried to do something to prevent it. Different groups and government agencies tried to do something and we should commend them for trying. Many, many people have gotten together to try to come up with a suicide prevention plan.

What we really need to start doing is take the intervention home and start from there. The Nunavut government needs to start recognizing what many communities have been saying for years. Give them funds to start programs on suicide intervention. Schools are trying, but they are tied to curriculums they have to follow.

As in everything, government agencies have procedures and protocols to follow but in Inuit society, you see a problem and try to correct it. With governments, they see a problem, but they get so many people involved in trying to do something it actually gets complicated and no one wants to take responsibility for tackling a problem head on.

If and when the Nunavut government recognizes that suicide intervention/prevention is a community matter, then it should look at providing the municipal governments with funds for suicide prevention.

It would then become the municipality’s responsibility to see how the funding should be spent. We cannot depend on schools alone to talk about suicide prevention, we need to start trying to prevent it ourselves.

David Mablick
Rankin Inlet

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