Feds commit $2.5M to Saskatchewan First Nations to prevent self-harm and suicide among youth

The Canadian government has announced that they will provide $2.5-million over the next two years to prevent ‘harms and deaths’ among Indigenous youth across Saskatchewan.

This comes after many First Nations communities in the province have experienced a number of youth take their own lives in recent months.

The funding also comes after the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation declared a state of crisis last month after a rash of suicides and attempts involving youth.

The funds will go towards supporting the delivery of mental wellness services and prevention programming that is holistic, First Nations-specific, strength based and community driven.

Chief Margaret Bear of the Ochapowace First Nation says the investment is a start. She says since September 14th, they have lost four youth to suicide.

Chief Louis Mercredi of the Fond du Lac First Nation, another community that has experienced self-harm among youth recently says he would like to see the provincial government match Ottawa’s $2.5-million investment.

He adds he’s tired of “band-aid” solutions and that his people need long-term solutions.

Warren Kaeding, Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health in Saskatchewan says the province has a number of initiatives, including a number with the Health Authority in regards to addressing self-harm. He adds government officials are continuing to work towards identifying suicide issues and strategies.


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