NAHO Releases Suicide Prevention and Two-Spirited People Guide

Ottawa (May 7, 2012) – In recognition of National Mental Health Week, the First Nations Centre (FNC) at the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) is releasing Suicide Prevention and Two-Spirited People.

Suicide has impacted First Nations populations at a greater rate than the general population. Although suicide rates for two-spirited First Nations populations are not known, high rates of suicide risk factors in this population suggest that they are at an even higher risk of suicide than heterosexual First Nations populations.This guide was created to make what we know about suicide prevention and two-spiritedness more accessible. When people know more, they can do more. There are many things we can do to prevent suicide in two-spirited populations, such as engaging them in the community, creating safe and inclusive environments, and talking openly, respectfully and compassionately about suicide and gender/sexual orientation.

Despite gains being made by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) communities around the world, two-spirited First Nations people still experience oppression and exclusion from three potential sources: their First Nations community because they are two-spirited, GLBT communities because they are First Nations, and mainstream communities for both reasons.

“Two-spirited people were accepted in First Nations communities prior to European contact,” says NAHO Acting CEO Simon Brascoupé. “Since then there has been a sense that being two-spirited is wrong, resulting in them feeling marginalized and increasingly alienated, sometimes resulting in suicide. This guide is a reminder of the values that First Nations culture is based upon, such as inclusiveness and diversity.”

Download the guide for free at

For media inquiries, please contact:

Trevor Eggleton, A/ Manager, Communications
National Aboriginal Health Organization
Tel: (613) 237-9462 ext. 505 / Toll Free: 1-877-602-4445 ext. 505
Cell: (613) 863-7765 / E-mail: [email protected]

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