Standing Committee on Social Development Release Recommendations on Suicide Prevention
YELLOWKNIFE (Monday, March 27, 2023) – Today, the Standing Committee on Social Development, chaired by Ms. Caitlin Cleveland, read its report Strengthening Community Supports, Lifting Youth Voices: Recommendations on Suicide Prevention in the Legislative Assembly.
This report is a series of direct responses to the 2022 release of the Office of the Chief Coroner report: 2021-2022 Early Release of Suicide Data. Committee’s first response was a Suicide Prevention Motion read into the Legislative Assembly on October 31, 2022. The Early release of suicide data identified all NWT residents lost to suicide were youth. In response, Committee prioritized suicide prevention and advocating for accessible resources and supports for youth. The Committee invited youth-led and youth-serving organizations to share their thoughts, ideas, and perspective on suicide prevention and strategies needed to empower and protect youth from loss of life.
Youth were clear in their responses. The report provides a trauma informed approach to suicide prevention strategies with 11 recommendations based on five major themes:
- Youth-led mental health and wellness conference;
- Aftercare processes;
- Addictions support and healing centre;
- Community suicide prevention funding for sports, arts and recreational programming; culture, language and on the land programming; and mentorships;
- Safe spaces including housing, schools and youth centres
Youth said these were suicide prevention strategies. Committee committed to elevating the voices of NWT youth to the GNWT. The GNWT now has 120 days to respond to the Committee’s report.
“We would like to thank the courageous youth who shared their ideas on the prevention of suicide. We all have an important role to play in keeping our youth happy and healthy and this report will help guide action for the future.”
Ms. Caitlin Cleveland, Chair, Standing Committee on Social Development
Report: Suicide Prevention
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Public Affairs and Communications
NT Legislative Assembly