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Embracing Life: Northern Saskatchewan Working Together. October 29 and 30, 2013 Prince Albert Dr. James Irvine. Introduction. How Embracing Life workshop was developed The need for continued ACTION. What is Embracing Life?.

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embracing life northern saskatchewan working together
Embracing Life:Northern Saskatchewan Working Together

October 29 and 30, 2013

Prince Albert

Dr. James Irvine


How Embracing Life workshop was developed

The need for continued ACTION

what is embracing life
What is Embracing Life?
  • Ongoing action for suicide prevention starting with a 2-day North-wide action based workshop
  • A starting point to develop action items to address suicide in every community in the north
  • Community specific actions utilizing our strengths and resources most effectively
  • Platform to provide input & plan action steps for reducing suicides and self-harm by health promotion, suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention
  • Comprehensive & across organizations, governments and communities.
why is this important
Why is this Important?
  • A call to action to reduce suicides and self-harm
  • We all have a role to play in suicide prevention – need for ownership, commitment and collaboration
  • Building on our strengths
  • Establishing North-wide supports
  • Moving forward from previous work
  • Suicide and self-harm are continuing issues in the north
the many faces of the same issues
The many faces of the same issues:

Deaths by suicide

The crisis: a symptom of underlying issues.

Self-harm, assaults, injuries

Emergency department visits and hospitalizations

Mental health issues

Unresolved grief, previous traumatic events, depression, substance / alcohol abuse, bullying

Social issues

Poverty, intergenerational trauma, cultural loss

things that determine our health health determinants
Things that determine our health = health determinants

CPHO’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2008, Addressing Health Inequalities

From: Dahlgren G, Whitehead M (1993)


Canadian Supplement to UNICEF’s THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2009,

Aboriginal children’s health: Leaving no child behind

risk factors versus protective factors
Risk factors versus protective factors

Risk Factors:

  • Mental illness – depression, anxiety, substance abuse
  • Previous attempts – especially with highly lethal means
  • Precipitant e.g. stressful life event, social humiliation or disgrace,
  • Impulsivity
  • Family history – family communication / parental monitoring
  • Environment characterized by abuse and/or loss
  • Family or friends’ histories of suicides or self-harming
  • Sexual identity
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • Poverty
risk factors versus protective factors1
Risk factors versus protective factors

Protective Factors:

  • Social supports
  • Sense of family cohesion
  • School connectiveness
  • Sports involvement
  • Community engagement in rebuilding or maintaining their cultural continuity
risk factors1
Risk Factors:
  • Individual influences: one’s own psychological state, personality, mental / emotional health
    • Low self-esteem, depression, impulsivity, sexual orientation, substance abuse
  • Social: school, peers, community, parents, etc
    • Suicide by a friend or family member, sexual victimization, family violence, neglectful and unsupportive parents, social isolation
  • Communities, Culture and Continuity
    • Cultural identity, colonization, intergenerational trauma
deaths from heart attacks is decreasing in canada the efforts of many people
Deaths from heart attacks is decreasing in Canada the efforts of many people
  • Members of the public knowing the signs and knowing CPR
  • Emergency responders, primary care providers
  • Specialists
  • Life behaviour influencers – healthy eating, physical activity, education on smoking reduction, medical prevention management
  • Policy makers – e.g. regulations on smoking, food, etc to make healthier environments

Promotion Prevention Intervention Rehabilitation

suicide and self harm
Suicide and Self-harm
  • Awareness of signs and symptoms
  • Knowledge of what to doif you know of someone
  • Human services providers, schools, workplaces, communities
  • Where to seek help – crisis lines 811,
  • Screening through primary care sitesfor risks
  • Access to counseling and supports
  • Access to care
  • Post-event counseling and supports

Promotion Prevention Intervention Postvention

what has happened
What has happened?
  • NHSP – A Suicide Prevention Resource: Exploring Strategies for Northern Saskatchewan 2009
  • Northern Suicide Prevention Forum 2009
  • Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Post-Vention Training
  • Health Line 811
what is currently happening
What is currently happening?
  • First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, SK Region Strategic Review
  • Metis Nation – Saskatchewan Northern Youth Suicide Prevention
  • National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan
what is currently happening1
What is currently happening?
  • Saskatchewan Suicide Protocols for Saskatchewan Health Care Providers
  • Suicide Prevention Policy for regional health authorities by March 31, 2014
  • Pre-Workshop Activities
    • Matrices
    • Training and Resource List
    • Literature Review
how will embracing life be effective
How Will Embracing Life Be Effective?
  • Building on work that has been done previously
  • Background information collected
  • Best practices, programs, gaps, resources, training
  • Presentations meant to provide thorough information for participants
  • Opportunity for ALL participants to provide feedback & input on: priorities, action items, gaps
  • Break out sessions planned to obtain input from front line staff, community members, Elders, youth, agencies, organizations, etc.

How do we best come together and move forward for mental well-being?

  • What approaches are required? Traditional approaches; conventional mental health; youth development; others.

Thank you for attending, for your participation, your voice, your desire for change for a brighter future for our youth.

embracing life committee
Embracing Life Committee

So far, composed of

representatives from:

First Nations University of Canada

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

Health Canada

Keewatin Yatthé Health Region

Mamawetan Churchill River Health Region

Ministry of Government Relations

Ministry of Justice

New North SANC Services Inc.

Northern Human Services Partnership

Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority

Northern Lights School Division

Population Health Unit

Prince Albert Grand Council