Laura Eggertson writes at CBC News:
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On May 18, 2013, after responding to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl in Pangnirtung, Nunavut’s chief coroner pleaded for help from the territory’s minister of health and senior bureaucrats.
“It is time to declare a state of emergency,” Padma Suramala wrote in an email sent to Health Minister Keith Peterson, Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk and others. After working for 13 months straight, and dealing with nine suicides in the previous month, and five that month alone, the coroner described herself as devastated and disheartened.
Before she wrote the email, she spent a sleepless night agonizing over what brought a 13-year-old to the decision to die “before even experiencing her life.”
“We have reached a breaking point and our community is under crisis,” Suramala wrote in the email, obtained through an access to information request. “I leave it in your best hands to make the decision of calling [a] state of emergency … and bring awareness of available resources to Nunavummiut.”