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Suicide Prevention Day: Social inequality and budget cuts are a matter of life and death

"Sadly, every person you ask from the Northern Inuit regions knows someone who has killed themselves. I personally have four cousins who have committed suicide. People you know your whole life. You grow and laugh with them and then they are not there anymore because they decide to take their own lives. The numbers are an epidemic, if these numbers existed in southern Canada, it would be a national emergency and there would be measures to address it."  

Sobering comments from Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the National Inuit Organization in Canada. Audla is the referring to the alarmingly high rates of suicide among Canada's Inuit population, which are 11 times higher than the national average.  

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On World Suicide Prevention Day Inuit representatives gather to talk about suicide's impact

Mary Simon, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Photo: Melissa Irwin.
With Inuit suicide rates 11 times higher than the rest of Canada, leaders and activists gathered in Ottawa to discuss the tragedy.

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