A Matter of Life or Death: a review of the evidence supporting an association between social capital and rates of suicide in Canadian Inuit communities

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Title: A Matter of Life or Death: a review of the evidence supporting an association between social capital and rates of suicide in Canadian Inuit communities
Authors: Kemp, Beverly
McRae, Katelyn
Date: 2016-11-26
Abstract: Canadian Inuit include ~55,000 inhabitants in parts of Labrador, Quebec, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. The rate of suicide in these communities is 135 for every 100 000 individuals - 12 times the Canadian average and one of the highest in the world.1 This structured review explores the existing evidence supporting an association between social capital and rates of suicide amongst Canadian Inuit. Initially, a search strategy was developed using the terms “suicide”, and “Inuit” in the PubMed (Medline), Scopus, and Web of Science databases. The final search procured nine relevant references. The research emphasizes suicide as a stressor within Inuit population. Social capital contributes to risk factors including, unemployment, being single, legal problems, abuse history, and a record of mental illness. The mean age of suicide is 23.41 with 82.5% being male2. Within individuals 15-24, 45% have had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime, and 15% had attempted suicide in the past year3. Those experiencing the “good life” (family and traditional culture) report higher levels of social support – a protective factor for suicide. Canada is entering a collaborative relationship with Inuit to prioritize resilience, empowerment, and suicide prevention. Crisis lines have been implemented to resolve immediate distress, while other Inuit led programs have the potential as long term solutions. This inquiry allows for a better grasp of suicidal behavior, rationale, and the emerging trajectory of suicide prevention.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35556
CollectionSciences de la santé - Affiches // Health Sciences - Research Posters
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