Monday, May 9, 2011

Suicide in our HoodZ (RE: Today's Urban Nation)

Today on Streetz (Urban Nation) I was listening to a prof from BC talking about Indigenous youth suicide in New Zealand. They said a few thins that I would like to speak to because...I am opinionated like that. They discussed a few things, smoking, online engagement and youth suicide. I'm reminded of the impact that helping others (especially where the currency is human lives) can have by this article from 2006.

my initial reaction
Thanks so much Rick, for discussing this on StreetZ, last week and this week. I feel like it is such an important issue for young people and all of our communities to be aware of. Specifically in isolated Northern communities and isolated inner-city ghettoes the rate of youth suicide is huge. I think about my own experiences being from Shamattawa, and living in the North End, and the amount of young people that I personally know that have attempted/committed suicide is very high. I know this is an issue, and my initial reaction is gratitude. I feel like we have to acknowledge unhealthy alternatives and raise awareness. Because I have lost family and friends to suicide, I feel the pain of our people when one of our young people feels there is only one way out. I feel like this is a conversation all of us must have.

planting the seed
Rick (the host of UN) mentioned how you received a text last week where someone implied you shouldn't talk about these issues as the broadcasted conversation will plant seeds among Aboriginal youth. I DIS-AGREE with this sentiment completely. It is an issue right here in Winnipeg. I believe that anti-suicide initiatives such as the event that is occurring at Circle of Life Thunder Bird House tomorrow called 'Circle of Life Gathering: life after Addictions and Suicide' are imperative to addressing this issue. It is a 2 day volunteer gathering aimed at people who have suffered the loss of a loved one through suicide and addictions. Please contact TBH for more info I also believe that we show LOVE to the people in our life when we care enough to talk about the tough issues. f course it take COURAGE and HONESTY, but if we focus on tha Love...I tihnk we'll be okay :)

how YOUth can help
Thanks for talking about what young people can do to help their peers. I agree that young people are way more likely to be the receivers of disclosures of suicidal thoughts from their peers. We are so lucky in Winnipeg to have many young people that are passionate and committed to helping their peers and communities. However, if we want to have hope for our youth, we must ensure that as adults and helpers in youth issues, we stand beside these young people and offer our supports and resources as readily as possible. These grass-roots leaders need to be empowered and educated in methods of helping their (our) bothers and sisters to deal with their challenges. They can contact the MB Suicide Line @ 1-877-435-7170. Aboriginal Youth Opportunities is also currently in the process of working an a youth-led response to the high-rate of suicide within our communities. There is some interesting info, again from BC, specifically about men and suicide.

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North End MC

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.