Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2016 Contents A24
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The leaders of the Attawapiskat First Nation, an
isolated Cree community in northern Ontario, Cana-
da, have declared a state of emergency over a series
of suicide attempts.
The CBC reported that about 2,000 people live in
the community. Last Saturday night, according to
Chief Bruce Shisheesh, 11 people attempted suicide.
That comes after 28 suicide attempts in March,
the Canadian news service reports:
"Including Saturday s spate of suicide attempts, a
total of 101 people of all ages have tried to kill them-
selves since September, Shisheesh said, with one
person dying. The youngest was 11, the oldest 71."
On last Saturday night, Shisheesh and the
Attawapiskat Council voted unanimously to declare
a state of emergency. It s prompted health officials
from the state and provincial governments to declare
they will be sending assistance to Attawapiskat, where
there are no mental health specialists and only four
health care workers, the CBC writes.
Canada s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, called
the spate of suicide attempts "heartbreaking" on
Twitter, and said the government would work to
improve living conditions for indigenous people.
Charlie Angus, the member of Parliament for the
region, said that communities in Canada s remote
north get fewer resources to respond to suicide
attempts and called this winter s series of attempts
a "rolling nightmare," the CBC reports.
In 2012, The Toronto Star noted that the issues
on the Cree reserve went far beyond headline-grabbing
"For much of the year," the Star wrote, Attawapiskat
"is accessible only by air, which complicates life here
terribly. For example, home repairs are near impossible
because neither materials nor skills are available
locally. There is no permanent doctor at the local
hospital. Teachers and nurses, almost all non-abo-
Canadian First Nation declares state
of emergency over suicide attempts
riginal, feel marooned and don t stick around too
Unemployment was at 70 per cent in 2012, the
Star wrote, and many students didn t attend school
regularly, seeing no point. The BBC notes that Cana-
da s 1.4 million indigenous people have a lower life
expectancy than other Canadians, and that
Attawapiskat is not the only First Nation grappling
with a high rate of suicide attempts. (NPR)
Basic facts about depression:
• Depression is a real, common and treatable illness.
Major depression is one of the most common mental
illnesses, affecting millions of people every year.
• Depression causes people to lose pleasure from daily
life, can complicate other medical conditions, and can
even be serious enough to lead to suicide.
• Depression can occur to anyone, at any age, and to
people of any race or ethnic group. Depression is never a
"normal" part of life, no matter what your age, gender or
• While the majority of individuals with depression have
a full remission of the disorder with effective treatment,
only about a third of those suffering from severe
depression seek treatment from a mental health
professional in the USA. Too many people resist
treatment because they believe depression isn't serious,
that they can treat it themselves or that it is a personal
weakness rather than a serious medical illness.
• Depression is very treatable. The most commonly used
treatments are antidepressant medication,
psychotherapy or a combination of the two. The choice of
treatment depends on the pattern, severity, persistence
of depressive symptoms and the history of the illness.
Symptoms of clinical depression:
• Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
• Sleeping too much or too little, middle of the night or
early morning waking
• Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite
and weight gain
• Loss of pleasure and interest in activities once enjoyed,
• Restlessness, irritability
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to
treatment (such as chronic pain or digestive disorders)
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
• Thoughts of suicide or death.
If you have five or more of these symptoms for two
weeks or more, you could have clinical depression and
should see your doctor or a qualified mental health
professional for help. (www.mentalhealthamerica.net)
FACTS & SYMPTOMS
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
The Canadian Federal and Ontario governments are moving to help a remote
First Nation that has declared a state of emergency due to a rising number of
suicide attempts among its young people. (CBC)
Links Archive April 12th 2016 April 14th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page