Piergiorgio Casotti, Arctic Spleen, from PRIVATE 48 – Economic inequalities, pp. 32-35
East Greenland has the highest suicide rate among young people. The increase in suicides could be explained the destruction of their traditional ways of life. Suicidal thoughts occur more often in young people who have grown up in homes marked by a poor emotional environment. Youths are less able to cope with stress and experience problems such as substance abuse and severe relationship problems. The pattern of suicidal behaviour in Eskimo populations has changed over the last decades. Prior to the 1970’s, middle-aged or older men were at a higher risk. Motives included sickness, old age, or bereavement and suicide was undertaken after sober reflection and at times, consultation with the family. In the emergent pattern individuals are young and motives are less clear.
“If the populations of mainland Canada, Denmark and the United States had suicide rates comparable to those of their Inuit populations, national emergencies would be declared.” Upaluk Poppel, Inuit Circumpolar Youth Council