Past-year suicidal thoughts among off-reserve First Nations, Metis and Inuit adults aged 18-25: Prevalence and associated characteristics.
Kumar, M. & Nahwegahbow, A.
For decades, researchers have reported high suicide rates among Aboriginal youth, which are several times higher than rates among non-Aboriginal youth. Based on the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this article presents estimates of prevalence of suicidal thoughts among off-reserve First Nations, Métis and Inuit adults aged 18 to 25. It examines associations between past-year suicidal thoughts and childhood experiences and family characteristics; mental disorders and personality factors; and socio-demographic characteristics, many of which have been shown to be related to suicidal thoughts in other populations. About 1 in 20 to 1 in 10 off-reserve First Nations, Métis and Inuit young adults reported having had suicidal thoughts in the previous 12 months and about 1 in 5 to 1 in 4 reported ever having had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime. Suicidal thoughts were twice as prevalent among off-reserve Aboriginal young adults as in non-Aboriginal young adults. In all three Aboriginal groups studied, young adults who reported having mood and/or anxiety disorders, ever using drugs or hopelessness were more likely to have had past-year suicidal thoughts than those who did not report these. However, young adults who reported high self-worth were less likely than those who did not to have suicidal thoughts. Other factors were associated with suicidal thoughts in young adults in some, but not all groups. The identification of risk factors for suicidal thoughts in these populations will add to the existing literature and could inform the development and/or evaluation of prevention programs and policies.