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View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2016-04-12 19:01 [p.2118]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her attention to this very serious issue across Canada. I come from the Northwest Territories, and suicide is also a very big issue there.
The suicide rates in the Northwest Territories are double that of the national average, and they are not restricted only to aboriginal people. However, it is the leading cause of death among first nations, Métis, and Inuit people across Canada.
Suicide is the ninth-leading cause of mortality in all ages and genders. The government of the Northwest Territories did a study in 2014 and concluded that there were 121 suicides within a 15-year period. They were highest among the Inuit, three times the territorial rate. The non-aboriginal population made up 27% of the suicides.
Of the suicides, 79% were male and 21% were female. There are many risk factors that we can point to for this. Alcohol and drug use, depression, emotional stress, housing, poverty, education, and trauma are all issues that contribute to this issue.
We need to be able to prevent suicides. We need to have people connect to the families and the culture. We need clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders.
There are many other things we can point to, but we have to conclude that people who are committing suicide usually feel overwhelmed, hopeless, helpless, desperate, and alone. We need programs and preventive strategies that target specific high-risk people.
I would like to ask the member how a nation-to-nation relationship would help on this issue.
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