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Northern Jack Summit 2018
Northern Jack Summit 2018

Northern Jack Summit 2018

Urgent situation. Action is required.
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Mental Health in the North. hosted our first ever Northern Jack Summit in October 2018. We flew young leaders from all over the territories to Yellowknife. These advocates trained, brainstormed, and designed initiatives to revolutionize mental health in their communities. They left with skills, knowledge, action plans, renewed energy, and powerful connections. 

Canada's North needs our help. There are many people who have family members or friends that have taken their own lives. It is heartbreaking and sad. To say that all of these tragedies have taken a toll on these communities cannot be overstated. Youth suicides is and should be an urgent situation in Canada. Action is required.

The very day that organizers flew out to Yellowknife for the Northern Jack Summit, the Globe and Mail published an article on the suicide crisis happening in the North. The Kativik school board, serving Quebec's Inuit territory of Nunavik, called an emergency meeting after learning of 13 deaths by suicide occurred in the region that year. One of the victims was still in elementary school. 

A few months prior in May - Pangnirtung, Nunavut was rocked by 12 youth suicide attempts over a two week period. While the pictureesque hamlet is surrounded by stunning mountains, glaciers and ocean, the community has been overwhelmed with violence and unease. Calls to police have significantly increased and more and more people are being physically injured and emotionally traumitized. A brimming sense of danger on a daily basis makes the prospect of living in the area quite bleak.

This is happening in many communities in Canada's North. 

There is a lack of mental health services readily available in the North, and what services are available are predominantly in the capital cities. Suicide among First Nations youth is 5 to 6 times higher than non-aboriginal youth. The average wait time for services covered by healthcare is 5 to 6 months, and often what is offered lacks cultural sensitivity and competence. 

Things need to change. And we'll lead it. Join the movement. 

A complete overview of our 2018 Northern Summit is available below.

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