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Facebook staffers gather with the head of Nunavut RCMP, Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, and the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in Iqaluit Monday June 26 for a joint announcement on social media and prevention. (Sara Frizzell/CBC) Nunavut is making its largest push yet toward fighting back against suicide.

In Iqaluit Monday, the Nunavut government unveiled a $35 million, five-year suicide prevention plan that focuses on building programming out from a community level, instead of leaving all the legwork to the territorial government.

Half the money will go directly to communities.

That idea grew out of a summit held in Iqaluit in May 2016 with representatives from across Nunavut to share ideas on what was working and what else was needed, said David Lawson, an RCMP officer who is president of the Embrace Life Council, which helped produce the plan along with the Nunavut government, RCMP and other organizations.

People at the summit noted it was difficult for local groups with ideas for solutions to slog through the paperwork and proposals they needed to complete in order to secure funding.

The five-year plan dedicates $16-million to community programs, large or small, that help prevent suicide — anything from mental health services and prenatal care to early childhood education. ‘Our communities know what they need’

Solomon Nasook of Hall Beach, Nunavut, is pleased.

Two years ago, while working as a guard in RCMP cells, he applied for $26,000 to start a men’s group. Solomon Nasook of Hall Beach started one of the territory’s most successful suicide prevention programs. (Solomon Nasook/Facebook) Today, it’s one of the most successful programs in Nunavut."Getting the men to talk about their problems," he said. "Letting it out. Doing one-on-one, I think that helped a lot. We took them out for one-week trips, either fishing or caribou hunting, or both. And they […]

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