The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) believes there immediately needs to be a culturally responsive action plan to curb the recent spate of suicides.
The FSIN executive responding to the declared state of emergency on the Attawapiskat First Nation,
“We need all levels of government talking and planning about what we need to do immediately, short-term and long-term,” FSIN vice-chief Bob Merasty said. “A holistic approach would better serve the needs of both on and off reserve First Nations.”
Merasty said the FSIN is currently engaged with several different organizations, such as the Northern Health Services Division and the Transformational Research in Adolescent Mental Health initiative, working towards a solution to the suicide crisis facing First Nations communities.
“A multi-sectoral approach is needed, bringing in the areas of education, justice, sports and reaction and the health and social development fields to develop concrete solutions that will address suicide and suicide ideology.”
Merasty said more needs to be done in multiple areas, such as collaborative discharge planning when patients leave mental health facilities, mental health home care programs designed to help families and the patient experience of those in acute mental health care units.
For him, the increased suicide risk can be traced to the loss of youth “spirit.” He said when youth are born they are given a spirit, and somehow First Nations youth have lost their spirit and their identity.
“A lot of these communities, there isn’t the hope. I think quite honestly the youth look at each other for support, and when the conditions look bleak and there’s no hope, they choose to do it together.”
Merasty said Sturgeon Lake First Nation had been chosen as a pilot site for a new approach dealing with mental health among First Nations.
paNOW will be investigating further into the issue, and will have local reactions and features in the next coming days.
On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit
Q98 celebrates summer with savings
Q98 wants you to enjoy summer with the new Summer of Savings coupons available throughout the...
READ MORE +
Trudeau fined $100 for not disclosing gift of sunglasses from P.E.I. premier
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to pay a $100 fine for violating conflict of...
READ MORE +
Chamber gives update on Action Battlefords
The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce gave an update on its Action Battlefords initiative during the...
READ MORE +
Join the Discussion
We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.