Leading up to the CASP 2016 – Hope, Help, and Healing Conference from October 26th through 29th we were invited to contribute to Voices of Visions, a Canada’s premiere First Nations and Inuit publication. With more than 50,000 copies shared via hard and electronic copy we were excited to spread the conference message, and start a much-needed dialogue on the topic of suicide prevention.

For those who can’t attend the conference or get a copy of the fall 2016 issue, here is the article in its entirety:

This conference will be of relevance and interest to all who practice and contribute in and the areas of social and individual wellness, suicide prevention and the reduction of suicide. The topics and learnings will consider similarities and unique aspects regarding suicide reduction from Canadian and world perspectives, with an emphasis on best practices, innovation, and solutions.

It is widely recognized that suicide statistics across Nunavut and Nunavik have become the highest in the country. The Premier of Nunavut has declared suicide a ‘territorial crisis’. With the recent suicide inquest in Nunavut, the need for a conference to address suicide was noted as relevant and essential. Nunavummiut are grappling with why so much suicidal behaviour continues to occur, and what can be done to address this phenomenon. While Kamatsiaqtut recognizes that there is no one solution or action, there is a strong need to demonstrate recognition and awareness that something needs to occur towards continued dialogue, determination for solutions and institution of actions.

The theme of Hope, Help and Healing has specific objectives and goals. Sessions were solicited and selected based on these three themes. Appreciating that suicide is the topic, the conference’s overarching goal is to enable participants to explore solutions for embracing life by developing, supporting, sustaining and encouraging positive lifestyles; considering, developing and acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes for better addressing suicide ideation; and networking with the anticipated 500 participants and presenters towards the cause of suicide reduction and life affirmation.

  • Hope sessions focus on approaches, methods and situations that include an optimistic attitude of mind, and that are based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances encountered in one’s life and the world at large.
  • Help sessions focus on approaches, methodologies, actions and situations that have made it easier, less severe, and more successful towards the reduction of suicide.
  • Healing sessions recognize and focus on approaches that include potential resolution to a degree that affected individuals are able to lead a fulfilling existence without being overwhelmed by trauma, and life’s prior and current situations that are causing personal distress.

The conference’s three days will have daily plenary sessions and panels that explore the following topics, in relation to the hope, help and healing themes:

  • The Inuit Tapiriit of Kanatamit’s (I.T.K.) National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and recommendations
  • The National Inuit Youth Council’s vision and beliefs

A significant belief of the conference planning committee is conveying that we all have a role in suicide reduction and life promotion. While successful actions and approaches will sometimes be attributed to, or necessary from an individual or group, no one individual, group or organization can address suicide reduction in isolation. It is a collective issue.

C.A.S.P. 2016 Hope, Help and Healing is an opportunity for participants and presenters to explore, share and develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes towards the reduction of suicide.

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