Factors That May Be Responsible For Aboriginal Suicide

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Aboriginal people represent less than 3% of the total population in BC. Yet, they account for more than 9% of all suicides in BC (Chandler). The numbers of suicides amongst aboriginal youth are even more alarming – nearly one-fourth of all youth suicides in BC are committed by aboriginals and more than half of all aboriginal suicides are committed by youth (Chandler). The fact that indigenous communities in Canada have the highest rate of suicide of any culturally identifiable group in the world implies that these alarming statistics may not solely be a result of aboriginal communities belonging to a minority cultural group. I will attempt to build a speculative hypothesis behind the significantly high suicide rates amongst aboriginal…show more content…
However, an individual will not act on this desire unless he/she has developed a capability to do so. Capability to commit suicide is developed through habituation from overexposure which perhaps desensitizes the individual to experiences that are painful. This may be vital in allowing the individual to overcome innate instincts for survival and prepare him/her to act on the desire to die. Aboriginal people in Canada have undergone tremendous acculturation and marginalization (failing to acquire and value Aboriginal values and identity, while also failing to identify with the cultural values of the larger society) which may be responsible in making them perceive themselves as a burden to others and feel socially alienated. Such feelings, based on the interpersonal-psychological theory, might instil the desire to die. Habituation and as a result, desensitization to the fear and pain associated with a suicidal experience, could be occurring due to high rates of suicide in one’s community. Thus, the interpersonal-psychological theory provides some insight into aboriginal suicide. However, the picture is incomplete as this explanation could be applied to suicide amongst patients with psychological disorders as well as to those coming from minority cultural groups. Hence, it is important to build on this picture by looking into factors that play a role in suicide amongst those from cultural minorities.
#2: Loss of self-identity
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