REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth focused on mental health and suicide risk in young people in her annual report tabled on Wednesday.

Lisa Broda’s 2019 report has an “ongoing commitment” to allowing youth to be part of public policy initiatives.

“It’s vital that we include the perspective of young people in all of our work, and in all matters that affect them,” Broda said in a news release.

The report also looks at “longstanding systemic issues” affecting the rights of children and youth in the province.

“We continue to work collaboratively to influence legislation, regulations and policy,” Broda said. “It’s imperative that we support entities to make the necessary changes that will result in better outcomes for children, while continuing to hold systems accountable.”

The report also discusses a national paper on preventing youth suicide, collaborating with ministries to inform public policy and advocating for a national bill to protect children and youth under federal jurisdiction.

“This is a strong reminder of our collective responsibility to ensure children’s rights are upheld in Saskatchewan,” Broda said. “Looking forward to 2020, we hope the entities that serve children will prioritize their unique rights and embed these as foundational to their mandates. This requires investment, time, attention, and support for both children and their families.”

The children’s advocate is an independent officer of the Saskatchewan legislature.