Youth Suicide Prevention (YSP) Program
As the name of the program suggests, the Youth Suicide Prevention Program is designed to prevent youth suicide in Sagkeeng.
In September 2004, Aboriginal leaders, the Prime Minister, and First Ministers met to discuss joint actions to improve Aboriginal health outcomes, and to adopt measures to address the health disparities facing Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The meeting led to a federal announcement of $700 million in funding for a series of new federal programs. Of this commitment, $65 million over five years (2005-2010) went towards establishing a National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS) for First Nations living on reserve and Inuit living in Inuit communities.
NAYSPS was developed based on a review of evidence-based suicide prevention approaches and existing prevention strategies, both nationally and internationally. It was also informed by the Advisory Group on Suicide Prevention's final report, Acting on What We Know: Preventing Youth Suicide in First Nations. The Strategy incorporates the best available evidence with respect to youth suicide prevention and is focused on finding ways to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors for Aboriginal youth suicide.
From this, the Youth Suicide Prevention (YSP) Program was implemented in Sagkeeng and has since gone to great lengths to prevent any of our youth from resorting to suicide. This is done through a number of initiative including:
- Partnerships with our schools
- School programs including Teen Talk and HEY (Healthy Empowerment for You!)
- Youth Counselling
- Home visitation
- Mental health crises response
- Grief/loss counselling
- Annual local powwow marking World Suicide Prevention Day
If you have any questions about this program or you're a youth and need someone to speak to, please contact:
Justin Courchene - Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator