Grassy Narrows’ exposure to toxic metal helped cause a suicide rate three times higher than other communities, research finds
Decades of mercury exposure has been linked to the high youth suicide rates in an Indigenous community in Canada, in the latest finding to underscore the catastrophic legacy of environmental contamination.
Researchers who studied three generations of mothers and their children from the community of Grassy Narrows, Ontario, have concluded that sustained exposure to the toxic metal helped cause a suicide rate three times higher than any other First Nations community – which are already far higher than among the country’s general population.
In the UK, the youth suicide charity Papyrus can be contacted on 0800 068 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and in the UK and Ireland Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 988 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counselor. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org