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2Nunavut Suicide Prevention Council Formed

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  • George [s] Lessard
    Jan 26, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Begin forwarded message:

      From: Michael Kral <michael.kral@...>
      Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:23:06 PM America/Winnipeg
      To: nunavut-stories@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [nunavut-stories] NU Suicide Prevention Council
      Reply-To: nunavut-stories@yahoogroups.com

      [This media release is also available in Inuktitut.]



      January 25, 2004

      A range of Nunavut-wide organizations and all three levels of
      government met in Iqaluit over
      the weekend to establish a Nunavut Suicide Prevention Council.

      The Government of Nunavut, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the
      Nunavut Association of
      Municipalities, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the three Regional Inuit
      Organizations, the
      NunavutKamatsiaqtutHelp Line, and the Anglican, Roman Catholic and
      Pentecostal churches came
      together to create a new organization which will have one goal - to try
      and reduce the rising number of suicides inNunavut.

      37 Nunavummiut took their own lives in 2003, up more than 50% over the
      previous year. The great majority of these individuals were young Inuit

      "Our goal was to establish a vehicle for significantly increasing the
      level of suicide
      prevention activity in Nunavut," said Alexina Kublu, one of the
      participants from the
      NunavutKamatsiaqtutHelp Line. "Our vision was for a small office, with
      two or three employees, which would co-ordinate suicide prevention
      initiatives; do public education and awareness; and find ways to meet
      training needs identified by lay counsellors in the communities and by
      front-line workers in the education, health and justice systems; and
      more. This is not about building a new bureaucracy - this is about

      "Nunavutneeds a comprehensive, co-ordinated suicide prevention plan
      which harnesses all the different strengths of its member
      organizations," said Mayor Lootie Toomasie of Qikiqtarjuak, one of the
      participants from the Nunavut Association of Municipalities.
      "We need to find ways to improve the resources available at the
      community level, and we need to find ways to bridge the gulf between
      the formal health system and the lay counsellors, family members,
      peers,neighbours and church members who provide the bulk of the
      counselling in our communities. We must respect each other, and work

      Participants in the founding meeting agreed that an 11-member Board of
      Directors drawn from the larger membership would be established,
      consisting of:

      · a youth representative to be named by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association;

      · a youth representative to be named by theKivalliqInuit Association;

      · a youth representative to be named by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association;

      · an elder to be named by the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Katimajiit (an
      elders council established by the GN to provide advice on Inuit

      · a director to be named by the Government of Nunavut;

      · a director to be named by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;

      · a director to be named by NunavutTunngavikInc.;

      · a director to be named by the Nunavut Association of Municipalities;

      · a director to be named by the NunavutKamatsiaqtutHelp Line;

      · a director to be named by the Federation of Nunavut Teachers; and,

      · adirector to be named by agreement among the Anglican, Roman
      Catholic and Pentecostal

      The founding conference was capably chaired by Lori Idlout from the GN
      Dep't of Heath & Social Services. The participants developed a mission
      statement for the organization and discussed draft by-laws. It will
      be the responsibility of the Interim Board of Directors to implement
      the action plan agreed upon at the founding conference.

      A contest will be held to choose an Inuktitut name and a logo for the
      new organization. It was agreed that the Inuktitut name should be
      positive and life-affirming. Details of the contest will be announced

      "The GN fully supports the creation of this council," said Rosemary
      Cooper, Assistant Deputy
      Minister in the Dep't of the Executive. "Our goal is to work in
      partnership with everyone who wants to try and strengthen suicide
      prevention activities in Nunavut. The GN has its
      responsibilities - such as providing mental health services - but when
      it comes to
      broadly-based suicide prevention initiatives it is clear that we all
      need to work together to support the communities."

      "The RCMP completely and enthusiastically supports the creation of the
      Nunavut Suicide
      Prevention Council," said Chief Superintendant John Henderson,
      Commanding Officer of the RCMP
      in Nunavut. "All of our suicide prevention activities will be
      co-ordinated with the council,
      and we very much look forward to being part of the wide range of new
      suicide prevention
      activities which the council will undertake."

      "It was good to see young people playing such a prominent role in the
      discussions, and to see the Board of Directors set up in a way that
      recognizes the importance of fully involving both youth and elders,"
      said Fred Elias, Executive Director of the Kitikmeot Inuit
      Association."Suicide in Nunavut happens mainly, but not only, among our
      young people. If all of Canada had a suicide problem like we have here
      in Nunavutit would be a national emergency. We're in an emergency
      situation right now here in Nunavut. Our
      coming together in this way gives me hope that we're going to be doing
      a lot more about it,
      starting as soon as we put this organization in place."

      For further information please contact:

      Alexina Kublu
      MayorLootie Toomasie
      Nunavut KamatsiaqtutHelp Line
      Hamlet ofQikigtarjuaq
      867.979.3474 /975.6120 867.927.8832