For immediate release
September 10, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is issuing this statement on World Suicide Prevention Day in recognition of mental wellness for First Nations.
“Today is a good time to remind our children that they are valued and loved,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Mental wellness is such an important aspect of our overall health and it’s often overlooked.”
“Suicide prevention has top of mind in recent days as God’s Lake First Nation grapples with a state of emergency due to suicide,” stated Grand Chief Settee. “The First Nation has lost too many young people to suicide and is dealing with at least one suicide attempt each day. MKO continues to advocate for improved services to help the youth and community of God’s Lake along with improved mental wellness services for all of our First Nations.”
“I want to encourage citizens in MKO First Nations to take care of your mental wellness. This means different things to different people, but it could involve spiritual practices, incorporating physical activity into your daily life, or even talking to a trusted friend or family member about things you are going through in life,” explained Grand Chief Settee. “I also encourage adults to look out for young people. Often it takes just one person to make a positive difference in the life of a child or youth—you can be the person to give hope and share strength with a young person who is struggling.”
MKO has several programs that help to address mental wellness issues for First Nations citizens. These are the Traditional Healers Program, our Client Navigator, Mental Wellness Teams, and our Mobile Crisis Response Teams. Many of these services are available to all 63 First Nations in Manitoba. You can find more information about these programs on our website.
Community members who are looking for materials and resources on preventing suicide can find them on this website.