Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement Launches International Campaign to Address Suicide Crisis Plaguing Indigenous Communities

by Nadine Morris | Sep 13, 2016
International forum on Indigenous life promotion planned for Vancouver in November

Ottawa, Ontario (Sept. 9, 2016) – Today, the Northern and Indigenous Team at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) launched a social media campaign on Indigenous suicide prevention leading up to International Forum on Life Promotion to Address Indigenous Suicide scheduled for November 17-19 in Vancouver.

“September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day and as we are all aware suicide has touched many Indigenous Peoples from around the world, and the Indigenous Peoples in Canada have experienced too many losses this year alone,” said Rose LeMay, CFHI, Director, Northern and Indigenous Health. “There is significant work occurring in many arenas, and I’m pleased that CFHI will be in the forefront to help promote life promotion through our ground-breaking initiatives.”

The social media campaign launched today will accelerate over the next 10 weeks to support WeBelong, the International Forum on Life Promotion to Address Indigenous Suicide scheduled for November. This international forum is already full, so CFHI is using social media to increase reach – much of the conference will be live-streamed, and discussions on keynotes and workshops will seamlessly flow from the floor through our Facebook page and Twitter across the world.

Coordinated with guidance from national Indigenous organizations and youth, and co-chaired with Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, the forum will celebrate successes in Indigenous community mental wellness and resilience and provide an opportunity for Indigenous people to continue the conversation through social media.

As recognized by the World Health Organization, World Suicide Prevention Day promotes global commitment and action to prevent suicide, raising awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. This year’s theme is “Connect, communicate, care.”

A benefit concert Indigenous HOPE is scheduled in Vancouver on November 17. Our partner NationTalk is developing a public event to coincide with the WeBelong international forum. With Indigenous bands to perform, Canadians will be invited to show up, show their support for Indigenous youth, and to share in a celebration of Indigenous pride.

“This is a small but visible step towards reconciliation that all Canadians can take part in,” said Rose LeMay.

WeBelong: International Forum on Life Promotion to Address Indigenous Suicide -November 17-19, 2016 in Vancouver #WeBelong2016

For more information and media inquiries:
Tamir Virani
Communications and Stakeholder Relations Officer
Mobile: 613-410-2617
E-mail: tamir.virani@cfhi-fcass.ca

About CFHI
The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement identifies proven innovations and accelerates their spread across Canada, improving patient care, the health of Canadians and value-for-money. CFHI is a not-for-profit organization funded by Health Canada.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

cfhi-fcass.ca

Background and Objectives:
Indigenous peoples and communities face higher rates of suicide in Canada and across the world. In Canada the suicide rate for Indigenous is five to seven times higher than for other Canadians. Research has shown that there are unique risk factors for Indigenous, including experiences of colonization and the combined effects of historic trauma, marginalization from wider society, and broader socio-economic conditions such as employment and housing. Indigenous endured losses during colonization including loss of culture, language and place in wider society. Recovery and healing will include a revitalization of culture and language, and progress on reconciliation in Canada may also be a protective factor as it increases Indigenous inclusion and pride.

Throughout the history of colonization in Canada, First Nations, Inuit and Métis have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Any discussion about Indigenous suicide prevention must be balanced with the evidence of strength and resilience in Indigenous peoples and communities.

The objectives of WeBelong are to:

  • Validate what we know about Indigenous suicide prevention.
  • Celebrate successes in Indigenous community mental wellness and resilience.
  • Deepen understanding on Indigenous ways of holistic life promotion - belonging, hope, meaning and purpose.
  • Raise public awareness of the resilience in Indigenous culture and knowledge, and the role for everybody in Canada to contribute to Indigenous safety. Indigenous youth belong in Canada