Facilities accomadating sucided in 1945

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“He was my best friend, and he was my helper.” Young Inuit men are at the highest risk of suicide of any population group in the world — many of them simply don’t survive their teenage years.

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Four years later, Kopak’s girlfriend hanged herself in her room.It might seem unusual to most Canadians that a 21-year-old like Kopak would have to cope with the trauma of suicides of those close to him and his own difficult childhood.For Nunavummiut, however, it is almost unremarkable, as Nunavut Health Minister Keith Peterson pointed out in a speech earlier this year at a fundraising dinner in Iqaluit for Embrace Life, Nunavut’s suicide-prevention organization.Peterson took the course himself a few years ago, calling it “eye-opening.” “The more we can identify the early warning signs, the more we can intervene and perhaps save a life,” he says. Although anecdotes abound, there are no statistics about how many lives caregivers trained in ASIST have already saved.But critical gaps exist in the frequency with which the Government of Nunavut has organized and offered the training, including in school settings.

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