Changing Rates of Suicide Ideation and Attempts Among Inuit Youth: A Gender-Based Analysis of Risk and Protective Factors

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Abstract

Inuit in Canada currently suffer from one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. The objective of this study was to explore the prevalence of suicide ideations and attempts among 15–24 year olds living in Nunavik, Québec, and to explore risk and protective factors of suicide attempts as a function of gender. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2004 across Nunavik. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted. A total of 22% of young males and 39% of females adults reported past suicidal attempts. Gender differences were observed in relation to associated risk and protective factors as well as degree of exposure to risk factors. Suicide prevention must include alcohol and drug prevention programs and rehabilitation services, interventions to reduce physical and sexual violence and their long-term impacts on Inuit youth, as well as exposure to culturally meaningful activities.

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