On Monday, the legislative assembly’s Standing Committee on Social Development read its suicide prevention report — with 11 recommendations based on five major themes.

Those themes are:

-youth-led mental health and wellness conference

-aftercare processes

-addictions support and healing centre

-community suicide prevention funding for sports, arts and recreational programming; culture, language and on the land programming; and mentorships

-safe spaces, including housing, schools and youth centres

The report, titled Strengthening Community Supports, Lifting Youth Voices: Recommendations on Suicide Prevention in the Legislative Assembly, is a response to the 2022 release of the Office of the Chief Coroner report: 2021-2022 Early Release of Suicide Data. The latter analyses showed all NWT residents lost to suicide in the time frame specified were youth.

“In response, the (legislative assembly) committee prioritized suicide prevention and advocating for accessible resources and supports for youth. The committee invited youth-led and youth-serving organizations to share their thoughts, ideas, and perspective on suicide prevention and strategies needed to empower and protect youth from loss of life,” stated the committee, chaired by Kam Lake MLA Caitlin Cleveland.

The GNWT now has 120 days to respond to the committee’s report.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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