Thursday, June 6, 2013

Major study shines light on Nunavut's suicide crisis: First extensive study about suicide in Nunavut released by McGill University researchers

People who died by suicide in Nunavut were more likely to have experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse, and were more likely to have been diagnosed with depression, according to a new study from McGill University.

The study has been years in the making, and is the first extensive study on suicide in Nunavut. The 56-page report is calledQaujivallianiq Inuusirijauvalauqtunik, or Learning from Lives that have been Lived.

The researchers interviewed almost 500 people in Nunavut with connections to 120 people who died by suicide in the territory between 2003 and 2006. For comparisons, the researchers also interviewed another 120 people who had close birthdays, came from the same community and were the same gender as those who died.

Those individual portraits were used to find risk factors that contributed to deaths by suicide as well as protective factors.

"I believe this study is very important because it offers the opportunity to better understand what happens and therefore to better intervene on more effective suicide prevention strategies," said Dr. Eduardo Chachamovich, one of the McGill researchers who conducted the research.

Nunavut's suicide rate has been roughly 10 times higher than the national average over the past 40 years.

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