Indigenous suicide and settler societies: Simon Hatcher, ‘Indigenous Suicide: A Global Perspective with a New Zealand Focus’, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 61, 11, 2016, pp. 684-687
Abstract: This perspective article describes the problem of Canadian indigenous suicide from a non-Canadian viewpoint. In particular, the article compares both similarities and differences in suicide prevention between Māori in New Zealand and indigenous peoples in Canada. It emphasises that the problem of indigenous suicide is not being indigenous but coping with losses secondary to colonisation. A useful way to translate this into helpful clinical conversations and actions is to think about loss of belonging. Culture and belonging are key components of identity and as such should be considered in all psychiatric encounters, not just in those who are considered minorities or “other.” The article concludes by suggesting how some of the experiences of addressing health inequalities and suicide in Māori may be applied in Canada.
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