CANADA: Nunavut to Mine Medical Data in Battle Against Suicide

May 27, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

CBC News

The government of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory, is planning to gather and analyze patients’ medical data as part of a new effort to reduce the area’s very high suicide rate. A mental health epidemiologist will go over the medical charts to determine the prevalence of depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia. This data will inform the development of a five-year action plan that will be unveiled next year. A recent three-day summit, which was part of a one-year action plan in response to Nunavut’s suicide crisis, set the stage for developing the five-year plan. About 100 people from all parts of the territory attended the summit, including elders, organizations providing suicide care, and government officials. They highlighted suicide prevention strategies that have been successful in Nunavut communities, such as a hunting program for youth. Now they are determined to develop an action plan that can realistically be accomplished and measured in five years.

Spark Extra! For more information on suicide in Nunavut, see Learning from lives that have been lived: Nunavut Suicide Follow-Back Study 2005-2010.