Wexler is invited speaker at Circumpolar Mental Wellness Symposium

April 29, 2015

Lisa Wexler, Associate Professor of Community Health Education, was recently an invited speaker at the Circumpolar Mental Wellness Symposium taking place March 25-27 in Iqaluit, Canada. Sponsored by the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group, the event brought together communities and researchers across Arctic States in eight countries to identify and share best-practices for suicide prevention. 

Wexler shared findings from a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded study, 'RASP: Resilience and Suicide Prevention Project,' which worked with communities in Northern Canada and Alaska to identify and document best practices for community-based indigenous suicide prevention. The findings showed that the vast majority of school officials, Alaska Native students and program participants positively assessed the school-based, youth leaders program. Quantitative results of school outcomes for students before and after participating in the youth leader's program showed that school attendance and grades improved for older youth leaders. Presentation of these findings focused on potential areas for further research.

Among the 100 attendees of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group's Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention Symposium were notable policy makers from across the Artic regions, including: the president of CIHR, Alain Beaudet; the Minister of the Environment and Minister of the Arctic Council, Leona Aglukkaq; Premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna; Minnie Grey, Chair of the International Circumpolar Council; Gert Mulvad, Head of the Scientific Board at the Greenland Center for Health Research; Solfrid Johansen, Senior Advisor for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; and Pamela Collins, Director Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health.