If you are thinking about suicide, or you’re worried about someone else, there is help and there is hope. Call or text 9-8-8 toll free, any time — lines are open 24/7/365. To learn more about 9-8-8 visit their website.

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Preventing Suicide in Indigenous Communities

Many factors have an impact on an individual’s health. Determinants of Health such as income and social status, employment and working conditions, education and literacy, childhood experiences, physical environments, social supports and coping skills, healthy behaviours, access to health services, biology and genetic endowment, gender, and culture determine individual and community health. Due to colonization, there are health inequities that exist in Canada that contribute to higher levels of deaths by suicide, unhealthy lifestyles, and ongoing mental health issues among Indigenous people. To prevent suicide and improve Indigenous mental health, please visit the resources listed below.

A Manual Of Promising Suicide Prevention Strategies For Aboriginal Youth

The purpose of the extensive manual is to provide high quality and user-friendly advice and information in order to facilitate the development of successful programs. As such, the manual recommends a number of prevention strategies that follow the best evidence about what works and what should be done to prevent suicide amongst Aboriginal youth. By implementing proven and promising strategies in a timely and coordinated manner, we can make a difference in reducing the number of young people who choose to take their own lives.

Inequalities in Death by Suicide in Canada

This resource is a quick graphic outlining statistics showing that Indigenous Canadians die by suicide more than their non-Indigenous peers. It also offers a few quick solutions to this problem as well as provides links to other resources.

National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy

This resource is a report created by Health Canada to outline the Creation of a National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS) in response to shockingly high rates of suicide among indigenous youth in Canada.

Indigenous Suicide Prevention Toolkit

This 12-page toolkit discusses 2006 statistics, the legacy of colonization, suicide contagion and clusters, protective factors, risk factors, the urban Aboriginal experience, and prevention. 

Indigenous Social Determinants of Health Intake Assessment and Navigation Tool

Based on the Indigenous Social Determinants of Health, this document is a useful tool for case managers and those conducting intake interviews with Indigenous clients, patients, students, and more to determine, based on their own feedback, which areas of their wellness they wish to address and in which priority they wish to do it.

Indigenous Youth Life Promotion Plan-Guide

This guide is an invitation to bring together youth, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and those who work with young people to plan and implement life promotion strategies and actions that support the community. This guide will lead you through the process of developing a life promotion plan for youth based on a 5-section framework: life, people, strengths, activities, and implementation. You are encouraged to work through this guide actively and in collaboration with members of your community. The questions within will lead you through the process. Once you reach the end of the questions, you will have drafted your Life Promotion Plan.

Life Promotion Toolkit By Indigenous Youth

The hope of this toolkit is to support Indigenous youth across Canada to aspire to live long and good lives. Through the ideas shared within this life promotion toolkit, the youth team from The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation invite you to explore and reform the wisdom from their ancestors to once again lead you to live healthier and longer lives. The hope is that you discover the excitement about cherishing and honouring our Creator’s gift of life.

Trauma And Suicide in Indigenous People’s Toolkit

This 12 page toolkit explores what is trauma, what are Indigenous healing practices, trauma informed care and Indigenous healing practices, and restorative justice and historical trauma.

Indigenous Mental Health Resources – Jack.org

Jack.org is a Canadian charity that is training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory. This webpage lists multiple resources that Indigenous people can access if they are in need of mental health support or are contemplating suicide. Please visit this page if you or someone you love is in need of assistance.

Government of Canada Resources

This web page provides links to multiple supports for Indigenous people in Canada who are struggling with their mental health can access to get help.

Mental Health and Addictions Resources – Nova Scotia Health

Are you, or is someone you’re worried about, a First Nations or Indigenous person? There are programs and resources available in Nova Scotia that were created specifically to address unique concerns that are highlighted here on Nova Scotia Health’s website.


Tajikeimɨk is the new and developing health and wellness organization being created to lead health transformation for Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia. The Chiefs and Health Directors from the 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia have long been working in their communities, and with Mi’kmaw organizations, to address gaps in health services and improve wellness. This work has created a strong foundation to build health transformation. Check out their website to find more information on where to find them in your zone and to access their resources!

Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Mental Wellness Team

The Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Mental Wellness Team provides holistic wellness services for First Nations persons of all ages in each of the five Unama’ki communities and Paqtnkek (Antigonish Co.). They provide direct services while also working in collaboration with relevant community and provincial organizations to both enhance and facilitate access to existing wellness services. Check out their website for more information!

Canada’s Indigenous Communities and Suicide

This 5 page report explores why some Aboriginal groups are much more at risk for suicide than other Canadian communities.

Breaking Point: The Suicide Crisis In Indigenous Communities

This 110 page report is structured into four parts; the first section describes historic and intergenerational trauma which affects the mental health of Indigenous peoples. The second section outlines the social determinants of health such as housing, education, employment, infrastructure and childhood adversity. The third section describes the conditions which prevent suicide, including cultural continuity, cultural and language renewal and spaces for healing and recreation for youth. The fourth section describes the availability of mental health services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Lastly, the Committee proposes a range of recommendations based on the considerable work being done by a number of dedicated individuals to prevent suicide among Indigenous peoples and communities.

Depression And Mental Health In Pregnant Aboriginal Women

This study is aimed at understanding the risk factors, the protective factors and the societal context of prenatal depression in Aboriginal populations. It also examines how services in Calgary are doing, and how they can be improved, in meeting the needs of this population. This study involved personal interviews with pregnant Aboriginal women and with service-providing professionals who work with pregnant Aboriginal women, as well as focus-groups with stakeholders.

National Collaborating Centre For Aboriginal Health

This report provides an overview of current knowledge on PTSD in Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Given limitations in this knowledge base, especially about the prevalence of PTSD in Aboriginal peoples, this paper will highlight the risk factors that place Aboriginal peoples at risk to develop PTSD, the challenges in determining prevalence rates of PTSD in Aboriginal communities, the impacts  of PTSD on the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples, and the importance of culturally appropriate treatment strategies that have demonstrated success in Aboriginal communities. It will also discuss limitations of a PTSD diagnosis and the need to consider both the risk and protective factors found in many Aboriginal communities. The paper will conclude with a list of resources that may be helpful for Aboriginal peoples seeking help and/or information for PTSD.

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