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Hope and Resilience



Nuuk, Greenland, November 7 - 8, 2009

In partnership with Inuit Circumpolar Council, ICC-Greenland, the Government of Greenland will be hosting a seminar on suicide prevention in Nuuk, Greenland November 7-8, 2009.

Under the title, "Hope and resilience in suicide prevention,"  the Seminar aims at bringing together social and health practitioners, researchers and policymakers to discuss the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs and strategies.

By continuing to share experiences and best practices in suicide prevention we hope to develop strong networks of cooperation and exchange of knowledge in this important field. The overall goal is to make a contribution to lowering the rates of death by suicide in the Arctic countries, in particular among our young people.



During the Danish chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Greenland - as co-host and chair of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) - wishes to strengthen the focus on the various cooperative efforts in the area of Arctic human health with a view to obtaining a better understanding of the overall health situation in the Arctic.

This objective corresponds with the recent establishment of an Arctic Human Health Expert Group (AHHEG) under the SDWG, as well as requests by the parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and the Nordic Council of Ministers, to promote cooperation and to facilitate synergies from existing work in the area of human health in harmony with cultural values of indigenous peoples and Arctic communities.


Arctic Human Health Expert Group

The Arctic Human Health Expert Group (AHHEG) was established at the initiative of Canada and Alaska. At the inaugural meeting of AHHEG in Ottawa hosted by Canada in February 2009, Canada and Greenland agreed to co-chair the Expert Group through its first ordinary meeting, which will be held in July 2009 in Yellowknife on the margins of the 14th International Congress on Circumpolar Health. Decisions on future governance of AHHEG will be taken in due course.

At the inaugural meeting, the Greenland delegation agreed to organize a seminar on suicide prevention in the Arctic under the auspices of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group as a first activity in the promotion of Arctic human health research, monitoring, and capacity building.



We anticipate to be gathering approximately 50 - 60 participants mainly from the Arctic region for the Seminar in Nuuk. The Seminar will be organized as a combination of plenary presentations and workshop sessions. The language of the seminar will be English with interpretation into Greenlandic on a needs basis. There is no registration fee for the Seminar.

Plenary sessions of particular interest to students, teachers, social workers and health personal will be open to the public.

The Arctic Human Health Expert Group and the Sustainable Development Working Group are invited to help identify relevant potential participants and speakers for the Seminar, which will take place at Hotel Hans Egede in Nuuk on November 7 and 8, starting with a welcome reception in the evening of November 6.

The Seminar is being held just prior to the next regular meeting of the SDWG scheduled for November 10-11 in Copenhagen. This is to allow interested SDWG delegates and observers to participate in the Seminar and then travel to Copenhagen for the SDWG meeting.

Plenary speakers and workshop presenters will be selected from the following categories: 1. social and health practitioners, 2. researchers and experts - including expertise from youth representatives, and 3. policymakers.

Preliminary topics for discussion include a) suicide as phenomenon, b) indicators relevant for the evaluation of prevention programmes, c) types of best practice, and d) cross-sectorial cooperation in treatment.



Conference Report (PDF, 4 Mb)

General recommendations (Danish)