Food insecurity, income and employment are at the heart of mental health problems and suicide faced by indigenous Indians, says new Dalhousie University research.
Using data from Canada's 2012 Central Population Survey, Dal's study looks at 14,410 individuals representing 600,750 native adults. Our unprecedented examination of socio-economic status is a determinant of mental health outcomes among non-reserve indigenous populations.
The researchers found that high rates of psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts were greatly associated with income inequalities among indigenous Canadians.
“In particular what we were focusing on was psychological stress and suicidal behavior because that is the two main health concerns that native populations face in Canada,” said Mohammad Hajizadeh, a professor at Dal School of Health Administration, who held it. the research with Yukiko Asada, associate professor in Community Health and Epidemiology, and Amy Bombay, assistant teacher Ojibway at the School of Nursing Catching and the Department of Psychiatry.
There have been many studies comparing indigenous populations with non-native populations, but very few comparing factors within native Canadian populations, said Hajizadeh.
Suicide is a major cause of death among people in the First Nations, Métis and Inuit, with rates of two or three times higher than in non-indigenous Canadians.
The study, which was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at the status of First Nations populations, unnamed First Nations populations, Inuit and Metis and found that there were differences within these in terms of psychological distress and suicidal behavior. For example, Metis had lower life expectancy rates and suicide applications than the other groups surveyed.
Researchers also found differences at a regional level. Atlantic Canadians had fewer suicides and suicide attempts, for example. There were also differences in men and women, with women suffering from higher suicide rates (22 per cent compared with 16 per cent) as well as efforts.
Hajizadeh noted that the same type of statistical data is not available for reserve populations, so the study does not cover all native natives.
But managed for all other contributory factors, a common thread was that poorer individuals experienced higher psychological distress, suicidal ideals and suicide attempts.
Factors associated with socio-economic inequality, food insecurity, income and employment status, which have the greatest impact on psychological distress and suicidal behavior.
The research shows that getting to grips with food inequality, for example, would reduce suicidal ideals among 27 isolated native singers, and 13 per cent attempted suicide.
“We already know that food insecurity is not good for health, but we didn't know how much, in fact, this affects the psychological,” said Hajizadeh.
“This is strong evidence if you are going to grasp these mental health problems somehow, you need to implement some policies (these factors)."
Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who was in Nova Scotia on Monday for post-budget consultations, acknowledged that it was important to focus on more than healthcare when building health policy.
“Very often I tell my colleagues in the cabinet around the table, when you look at the social determinants of health, not just your physical health or your mental health. You have to look at housing, you have to look at inequalities, you have to look at access to food and affordable food, ”he said. “In terms of getting to grips with those inequalities all of those departments need to work together to ensure that we can better meet the needs of all the Canadians.” T