Suicide prevention in Indigenous communities
Suicide prevention and mental wellness services for Indigenous communities.
If you're experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, call the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. It's toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or connect online at hopeforwellness.ca.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or the number for emergency services in your community.
Suicide in Indigenous communities
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is committed to improving the health status of First Nations and Inuit. One of its priorities is working with key partners to prevent suicide and promote life in Indigenous communities.
Suicide has been a significant concern for some Indigenous communities, particularly for some located in the North and in remote areas. We know that suicide has a devastating impact on communities but our understanding of suicide rates and trends is limited because collecting data on suicide is challenging, particularly for Indigenous communities.
Addressing youth suicide
Suicide is a leading cause of death for youth in Canada. For Indigenous communities, high rates of suicide are linked to a variety of factors including the consequences of colonialism, discrimination, community disruption and the loss of culture and language. Addressing the disparities in the social determinants of health and promoting a sense of hope, purpose, meaning and belonging are key ways of promoting life and preventing suicide for Indigenous peoples.
Preventing suicide and promoting life
Improving mental wellness in Indigenous communities requires a holistic approach and strong collaboration among communities, Indigenous partners and various levels of government.
ISC’s mental wellness services for Indigenous communities are guided by 2 key documents that were developed by Indigenous partners:
ISC supports community mental wellness teams, and services and initiatives related to suicide prevention, including:
- National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy
- Hope for Wellness Help Line
- mental health counselling through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
- Jordan's Principle
- Inuit Child First Initiative
- Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program
- health support services for those affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
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