Study of Suicide Death in Nunavik Between 2014 and 2018

Monday 16 November 2020
logo of the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention

Speakers: Monique Séguin, PhD, Université du Québec en Outaouais, McGill Group on Suicide Studies & Québec Network on Suicide Research, Depression and other Comorbid Disorders and William Affleck, PhD, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Overview of the webinar

Objective: The main objective of this study was to trace the life course of those who died as a result of suicide in Nunavik between January 2014 and December 2018.

Method: Three groups were compared: a) a group of people who died after suicide; b) a group of individuals who have made one or more suicide attempts in their lifetime; and, c) a group from the general population who have never attempted suicide. Using a life trajectory methodology, this study made it possible to trace the life events, the progression of developmental adversity, the presence of mental health problems, and the presence of protective factors in all the individuals who were part of this study.

Results: In this study, 84% of those who died by suicide were men, while nearly 70% of people who attempted suicide and those in the no-attempt group were women. The findings point to the importance of substance abuse and alcohol intoxication at the time of the suicidal act (the suicide or the attempt). Individuals from the attempted suicide group and those from the no-attempt group report having experienced significant social distress associated with episodes of bullying during adolescence and the transition to adulthood. Life trajectories indicate that the three groups have a similar level of adversity at the beginning of life, but deceased individuals show a burden of adversity that progresses throughout their life span compared to the trajectory of the other two groups. Finally, path analyses demonstrated that two variables were clearly associated with suicidal vulnerability, namely bullying and substance abuse.

Conclusion: Results show the need to develop specialized substance abuse services and anti-bullying programs.

About the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention 2020

This webinar was presented in the context of the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention, on October 30, 2020. This virtual event was co-organized by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) and the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE).