It is commonplace to have a relative who killed themselves -- this is not an issue unknown to anyone who has spent time in the Arctic:
A new study paints a bleak picture of life – and death – among children and teenagers living in the Inuit Nunangat, the four Arctic regions that make up the Inuit homelands.
Children and teens growing up in the Nunangat are roughly five times more likely to die than their counterparts in the rest of Canada.
They are 11 times more likely to succumb to an infectious or parasitic disease and twice as likely to be killed by a non-communicable one. Their risk of dying from an injury is nearly 11 times higher than children and teenagers in the rest of the country.
But the biggest driver behind the staggeringly higher death rate among Inuit children and teens is suicide. The report, from Statistics Canada's health analysis division, found that the suicide rate among children and teens in the Inuit homelands was 30 times that of youth in the rest of Canada during the five-year period from 2004 to 2008.