Thursday, Oct. 27
14:30 – 15:30 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Sheraton Hall A (Lower Concourse)
Daniel McKennitt*, MD; Katherine Aitchison, PhD, FRCPsych; Adam Abba-Aji, MD, MSc, MBA, FRCPC; Hazel McKennitt, BEd
Supported by the Research Committee
- Health Advocate
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Name a Truth and Reconciliation Commission call to action relevant to the prevention of Indigenous youth suicide; 2) Define cultural safety; and 3) Outline associations between factors related to the pandemic, to consider in relation to mental health service provision for Indigenous people.
The age-standardized mortality rate for death by suicide for 2016 was 11.0 per 100,000 people in Canada. (1) However, since 2013, there has been an increase in the age-standardized mortality rates for death by suicide among young people (aged 15 to 19 years); (1) moreover, there are indications that Indigenous youth are dying from suicide at significantly higher rates, compared to non-Indigenous youth. (2) In keeping with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, we acknowledge that these disparities in rates of suicide are related to historical, intergenerational, and ongoing trauma resulting from settler, colonial, and government actions. We suggest that solutions accept this, while addressing individual, community, and systems- or society-level protective and risk factors, with a socio-ecological lens. Of particular relevance regarding solutions are the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action #18 to #24. The first speaker (Alberta) will provide an update in relation to a position statement on this topic and the relevant TRC calls. The second speaker (a Knowledge Keeper with the University of Alberta) will outline the concept of cultural safety and the relevance of this for mental health professionals. The third speaker (University of Alberta and Northern Ontario School of Medicine) will outline factors related to the pandemic to consider in relation to mental health service provision for Indigenous people. Discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Adam Abba-Aji (University of Alberta) on ways to move forward.
- Statistics Canada. Table: 13-10-0392-01 (formerly CANISM 102-0551). Deaths and age-specific mortality rates, by selected grouped causes. Ottawa (ON): Author; 2016 [cited 2019 April 16].
- Kirmayer L. Suicide among Canadian aboriginal peoples. Transcult Psychiatry 1994;31:3-58.