Province Supports Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Team

by NationTalk on April 12, 2007752 Views

For Immediate Release
April 12, 2007

Ministry of Children and Family Development

KAMLOOPS – The White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society has received $70,000 to assist their efforts in establishing an Aboriginal Suicide Critical Incident Response Team (ASCIRT), announced Children and Family Development Minister Tom Christensen.

“We have been working closely with our Aboriginal partners and other ministries on the serious issue of Aboriginal youth suicide,” said Christensen. “Effective and timely prevention services are key to addressing the challenges presented by threats of suicide and its impact on communities.”The ASCIRT allows the White Buffalo organization the opportunity to meet the critical needs of Aboriginal communities dealing with issues of suicide, loss and grief. Aboriginal children, youth and families will have increased access to prevention and early prevention programs that are culturally relevant. The response team will be located in their home communities and Nations, allowing immediate access and response for an individual or family in crisis.

“This program has brought together Aboriginal communities in activating and renewing wellness for our people,” said White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society executive director Deb Canada. “The communities will have a better awareness of youth mental health concerns and easier access to prevention services.”

The White Buffalo organization is a culturally based holistic health centre dedicated to balanced and healthy lifestyles. The programs and services offered support Aboriginal values in the connection of emotional, spiritual and mental well-being.

“The community has really come together on this important project and I wish them all the best in their ongoing effort to support Aboriginal children, youth and families,” said Kamloops MLA Claude Richmond.

“The sudden loss of a young life is devastating,” said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger. “This program is about bringing the right services to the community so we can all work together to ensure all our youth reach their full potential.”

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is focused on strengthening and enhancing B.C.’s child and family development services. The current process of transformation will allow better support for the unique needs of individual children, youth, families and communities in all parts of the province.


Media contact:

Karen Murry
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2939

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