Show Navigation

Resource Library

Promising practices in suicide prevention across Inuit Nunangat: NISPS research and data collection project

This resource is available in English only.

The National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy

With the publication of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2016, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) launched a rich discussion on both protective and risk factors for suicide in Inuit communities. The organization also used the resource to identify six priority action areas for action regarding suicide, such as creating social equity and mobilizing Inuit knowledge for resilience.

Contribution to the evidence base

This 2019 environmental scan provides an update on the state of knowledge as the 2016 strategy continues to be funded and implemented. Moreover, it shares what tractics are currently in place to address the disproportionate rate of suicide across the four regions of Canada’s Arctic that make up Inuit Nunangat.

Drawing from a review of grey and academic literature, as well as interviews with key informants, the scan presents findings and promising practices across six topic areas:

  • Links between childhood adversity and suicide;
  • Promising practices with respect to addressing child sexual abuse across Inuit Nunangat;
  • Promising practices with respect to social emotional development in Inuit Nunangat;
  • Promising practices with respect to safe shelters focusing on children and youth within Inuit Nunangat;
  • Promising practices with respect to current supports for Inuit within the justice system with a specific focus addressing child sexual abuse; and
  • Promising practices with respect to parenting and family support programs. (p. 11)

Gaps and opportunities

The results of this scan include many promising practices for suicide prevention identified by key informants. These practices are summarized in section 4.8 (p. 67) and include:

  • hiring and training local people to deliver programs;
  • involving elders in programming as often as possible;
  • moving slowly at early stages or program delivery; and
  • being responsive to changes suggested by community members.

Upstream interventions

Readers may also wish to note that promising upstream interventions for Inuit children and youth are most discussed in the context of

  • addressing child sexual abuse (section 4.3, p.23);
  • supporting social and emotional development (section 4.4, p. 32);
  • ensuring access to safe shelters and spaces; and
  • supporting parents and families (4.7, p.59).

Use this resource to

  • increase your overall understanding of Inuit suicide prevention, including the current state of knowledge, available programs and services, challenges and opportunities;
  • reflect on the six priority areas and their related promising practices; and
  • consider how the knowledge shared relates to public health programming in your jurisdiction, particularly if you are working within Inuit Nunangat.


Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. (2019). Promising Practices in Suicide Prevention across Inuit Nunangat: NISPS Research and Data Collection Project. Ottawa (ON): Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Related resources

Tags: Assess and report, Community engagement, Indigenous health , Mental Health, Community Organization, Link

Sign up for our E-News

* indicates required
I would Like to Receive Email Updates on: