Southern Sask. First Nation declares state of emergency following 4 suicides, sets up crisis hotline
YORKTON -- The Ochapowace First Nation has declared a state of emergency following the suicides of four people in the last three months.
The nation says that while many other reserves are experiencing suicide among the youth, Ochapowace is facing it with men between the ages of 30 and 45.
"As far as declaring the state of emergency, it’s a good way to bring awareness and educational awareness of what’s going on. We need to talk about it, one thing we don't want to do is push it under the rug,” Chief Margaret Bear said
An immediate plan was in put in place where members of the public could seek mental health help, three days a week at the health centre.
Starting on Dec. 22, a therapist will be available every day until Jan. 26.
The band has also instituted a 24/7 Ochapowace suicide prevention and depression line that will run until further notice.
The line is manned by volunteers in the area, and the reserve is looking for more as they head into the holidays.
Those struggling can reach out at 639-205-7997.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are some resources that are available.
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645), Centre for Suicide Prevention (1-833-456-4566) or Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
If you need immediate assistance call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.