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God’s Lake First Nation activates state of emergency amid suicide crisis
God’s Lake First Nation has activated a state of emergency as it deals with an ongoing suicide crisis as well as issues with meth, drug and alcohol addictions.
In a news release from Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) Thursday, God’s Lake Chief Gilbert Andrews said:
“There have been four young people who have taken their own lives this summer. This is a crisis that our health staff are dealing with every day and we need help immediately.”
In addition to the four suicides, officials said there have been 22 suicide attempts in the community this summer.
God’s Lake is located about 1000 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
“MKO is deeply concerned about this crisis and is working closely with God’s Lake at this time,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee.
“We have called on officials with the Government of Canada to ensure the community receives proper resources such as qualified therapists. MKO is also sending our Mobile Crisis Response Team to the community today.”
Community meetings are planned for next week to discuss the issue and work on an action plan, said Chief Andrews.
“We must develop a comprehensive plan in partnership with the federal government, otherwise this crisis will continue, and we will continue to experience tragedy and trauma,” said Andrews.