A community meeting has been scheduled tonight regarding the recent suicides at a local high school that will include multiple groups and support resources for parents and students.
Two students from North Battleford Comprehensive High School took their own lives in the past two weeks.
Both Living Sky School Division and Light of Christ have joined together to organize the meeting at the Don Ross Gymnasium in North Battleford. Doors open to parents of students only at 6:45 p.m. and the meeting will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In a release from Living Sky, Director of Education Brenda Vickers said the school division is working closely with Kevin Cameron, a leading trauma specialist.
“One of the first things Kevin suggested we do after the tragic events that have occurred in our community, was to schedule a meeting for parents and to bring community leaders and representatives from several agencies together. His rationale was simple: when everyone pulls together, we are stronger, and we have to have a strong adult system in place so we are able to support our youth,” Vickers said.
The release added the school division has two main goals it hopes to achieve with the meeting tonight. First is to provide parents with information and the second to hear from parents and other caring and concerned adults.
The release said the school division will be engaging with students to hear what they have to say.
“Following Kevin’s advice, this will come after we have ‘activated and strengthened the adult system.’ Right now we are focusing on offering professional supports to our youth,” Vickers said.
There are four presentations scheduled including: Aftermath Dynamics and Common Responses to Crisis and Trauma, by the Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions Services; Social Media, Internet Safety and Rights to Privacy, by the RCMP; Meaningful Conversations with Your Child, by the Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre and Child and Teen Grief, by Catholic Family Services.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Battlefords, Concern for Youth, and Territorial Drive Alliance Church will then lead a question and conversation period.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the 24-hour crisis unit at (306) 933-6200. To search for a similar service in your area, click here.
On Twitter @realgreghiggins
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 2:00 p.m. on January 24, to include information from a news release issued by the Living Sky School Division.
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