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Can we find the commitment and the energy to make a contribution? MOVING TOWARDS A STRONGER FUTURE.

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Presentation on theme: "Can we find the commitment and the energy to make a contribution? MOVING TOWARDS A STRONGER FUTURE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can we find the commitment and the energy to make a contribution? MOVING TOWARDS A STRONGER FUTURE


3  What are “risk factors”?  Risk factors are those things in a person’s life that might take them to thinking about suicide.  The factors vary for every person.  There are some common themes to look for and to listen for. RISK FACTORS

4 RISK FACTOR INFORMATION  Suicide rates amongst Canada’s Aboriginal people are higher than those of other Canadians.  Health Canada (1996) data suggests suicide rates amongst First Nation males are 2.6 times and for women 4 times higher than for the Canadian population in general.  Aboriginal youth are at 5-6 times greater risk than their non- Aboriginal peers

5 SUICIDE RISK FACTORS  The literature is clear that being a First Nation, Metis or Inuit person in and for itself does not pose a risk for suicide.  As with all people, context and perception are critical in determining suicide risk in First Nations, Metis or Inuit youth.  The document Choosing Life: Special report on Suicide Among Aboriginal People (1995) indicates that general risk factors for suicide such as mental illness, life history and life situations are common to all people.

6 FIRST NATION, METIS AND INUIT FACE ADDITIONAL LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT INCREASE THEIR RISK OF SUICIDE  Psychobiological factors such as depression and grief, which are made worse for many by the sheer number of deaths in small close-knit communities.  Life history factors including cultural discontinuity, disruption of families by outside intervention and prevalent substance use and abuse.

7 ADDITIONAL LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES CONTINUED  Socio-economic factors in which “living conditions are generally inferior to those of most Canadians. High rates of poverty, limited employment and education opportunities as well as deficiencies in sanitation and water quality are part of the context of the lives of many First Nation, Metis or Inuit.  Cultural stress results when people go through a massive, imposed change. The loss of land, pervasive breakdown of cultural norms, customs and institutional racism, as well as loss of identity are some of the stressors experienced by Aboriginal people since their contact with dominant cultures.

8 ADDITIONAL LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES CONTINUED  Colonial relations have resulted in damage to all the elements of First Nation, Metis and Inuit culture, which define the essence of identity: language, customs, values, and beliefs. Kirmayer, Brass and Tait (2000) and Mussell (2002) report these factors are particular to Aboriginal people. The Health of Off-Reserve Aboriginal Population (2002) reports similar findings with respect to overall health determinants.

9 FINALLY  Many First Nations, Metis and Inuit experienced exclusion from the dominant society and alienation from a traditional lifestyle. They have “the terrible emptiness of feeling strung between two cultures and psychologically home to neither.” (Choosing Life p. 30)

10 EMERGING THEMES  Loss  Connected to dislocation; in care, separation  Social and economic conditions  Mental Health concerns  Substance abuse  Two-spirited  Street involved  Homelessness  Exposure to violence  Change  Contact, conquest, residential schools

11 PROTECTIVE FACTORS  What are “protective factors”?  Protective factors are those things that give troubled persons reasons for living.  Protective factors can be active in the individual, family and community.

12  The purpose of the discussion was to listen to one another’s point of view and to understand there are many protective factors.  The aboriginal youth Rod interviewed identified self-esteem, connection with others, changing thinking, and cultural community as the four most significant factors in their recovery from suicide ideation. CONCLUSIONS

13  Aboriginal Youth: A Manual of Promising Suicide Prevention Strategies White and Jodoin (2003)   Suicide Among Aboriginal People in Canada  Aboriginal Healing Foundation Research Series   What is Working, What is Hopeful … David Masecar  PROTECTIVE FACTORS RESOURCES

14  The Circle of Courage is based upon native values and the medicine wheel. The illustration incorporates the medicine wheel as well as the four spirits of the Circle of Courage. CIRCLE OF COURAGE MARTIN BROKENLEG AND LARRY BENDTRO

15 BELONGING: I MATTER  Resources for basic needs: shelter, food, water, health care.  Relationship needs: Connection with a variety of people who are supportive and demonstrate pro social competence.  Connections with history, culture, customs.  Belief in something greater than me; spirituality, faith, religion.

16 MASTERY: I CAN  Competence  Creativity  Creative Problem Solving  Learn Things  Persevere  Optimistic Outlook  Sense of Humour

17 INDEPENDENCE: I MAKE A DIFFERENCE  I am my own person  I have initiative and leadership skills  I do the right thing  I have a sense of purpose  I ask tough questions of myself and others  I have self-discipline.  I have the ability to stand away from the negative behaviours; to adapt to negative behaviours by separating myself from the high and unrealistic expectations of myself.  I have influence; others listen to me.

18 GENEROSITY: I CARE  I care about other people  I contribute to the well-being of others  I am a role model  I care about myself  I do things to keep me healthy and safe

19 To listen To learn To question To educate To support To work with communities To advocate for a youth voice. To encourage. To celebrate. To promote, protect and preserve LIFE. MY ROLE


21  Youth Identity and Empowerment  Youth Engagement and Leadership  Community Involvement and Traditional Teachings  Integrated, Holistic and Comprehensive Program  Crisis Response and Grief Recovery  Education and Awareness NAYSPS VISION

22  Advocate and encourage youth involvement and input  YAC (Youth Action Council)  Elder Involvement  MTSF  Leadership from the Heart YOUTH IDENTITY AND EMPOWERMENT

23  Engage community at large  Focus on young adults  Opportunities for skill building for youth and adults  YAC formed in 10 communities  Advocate for creation of more fun and challenging volunteer opportunities for youth.  Creation of PATH  Lobby for leadership support for youth involvement in all community programs.  Violence is the number 1 concern of youth. Goal to decrease violence through ACTION of all but YOUTH is particular. YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

24  Establish strong youth/adult partnerships.  Involve community champions.  Foster an environment for mentorship; build capacity within the communities  Introduce MTSF  A holistic approach is involved in creation and delivery of all programs  Incorporate healing  Good Grief Camp for Youth  Elders actively involved.  Explore history and identity as FN in a respectful way.  Spiritual journey invites healing And positive change. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & TRADITIONAL TEACHINGS

25  Developed a network of services and programs  Integrated holistic approach in planning and delivery  HOT, Good Grief Camp, Grief Outreach, YAC  Embrace Life program monitored and evaluated after every event and annually.  Remove the stovepipes (silos) to address change as a community not on behalf of a program or agency  Circle of Courage philosophy INTEGRATED HOLISTIC AND COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM Interagency Community Mobilization

26  PAGC Crisis Response Team; sector approach  Local CRT’s initiated; capacity building  Team members trained is CISD, ASIST, MHFA, Healing Circles, and Grief and Loss  Resource lists for 11 communities completed  Need of Mental Health Therapist at PAGC  Full time therapists in each community needed  Grief Recovery Outreach ongoing at Holistic Wellness  All communities have trained facilitators; more action required CRISIS RESPONSE & GRIEF RECOVERY

27  Strategy has been created  Focuses on prevention, intervention and postvention  Goal to reduce stigma & lateral violence; and to increase understanding of confidentiality  Exploring creative & innovative ways to communicate with youth  Celebrate and build upon the strengths  Increased access to training for all community members brings about positive change.  Support is always needed. But action and change is up to the community members  Training available :ASIST, safeTALK, suicideTALK, MHFA, MTSF, HOT, Grief and Loss, Youth Engagement, Youth Leadership, Building Strong Relationships, ….  Counseling and treatment available for addictions, mental health issues and gambling. EDUCATION & AWARENESS

28 Suicide is a community problem that needs community ACTION. WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE….


30  We need to have a plan or vision otherwise we will get lost …  The past needs to be acknowledged  The present is here and now  Plan to make a future better, different or more than present WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE…


32 Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope P.A.T.H. Sustainable change takes patience, persistence and time.

33 Many are resistant and fear change; but a change in attitude and habits can promote, preserve and protect LIFE. CHANGE IS NECESSARY

34 Energy is created through ACTION. Positive change cannot happen without action. ENERGY IS EVERYTHING

35 Break down the silos/barriers. Together everyone achieves more. Youth need to feel they belong. With vs. For Volunteerism grows self esteem. Involvement reduces violence. MOBILIZE THE COMMUNITY A safe, vibrant, healthy community where everyone belongs.

36 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES  Community Development Strategies must address the complex nature of suicide in Aboriginal communities by looking at the following four areas:  Community Renewal  Cultural Enhancement  Traditional Healing Practices  Interagency Communication and Support.

37 WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY RENEWAL?  Community Education  Training in ASIST  Means Restriction  Youth Leadership

38 WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY EDUCATION?  School  Training  Policy  Climate Improvement

39 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT COULD TAKE PLACE IN SCHOOLS?  Family involvement  Esteem building  Life Skills  Suicide awareness information

40 WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF FAMILY FOCUSED STRATEGIES?  Asset interview  Refer page 56 of What is Working, What is Hopeful…

41  To be engaged so that their voice can be heard.  To be empowered.  To feel they belong and have purpose within the community  To be taught skills to help themselves and others.  40 Developmental Assets  The opportunity to be responsible and accountable  To learn generosity; serve others…  Support from the leadership  Several mentors..  To mentor others…  A Youth Coordinator in each community. YOUTH NEED…

42 Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training ASIST works. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE TRAINED IN SUICIDE FIRST-AID.

43 Each person influences growth in a family and each family influences growth as a community. CHANGE HAPPENS ONE PERSON AT A TIME

44 A strength based approach creates healthy outcomes CHANGE IN ATTITUDE

45 Are YOU ready to be the best FOR the world? CELEBRATE WHAT’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD


47 “We live in a world of possibilities... when we believe it, we’ll see it.”

48 K EY C ONCEPTS : Believe it and you’ll see it. Recognize abundance. Look for possibilities. Unleash your energy to fix what’s wrong. CONTINUED...

49 K EY C ONCEPTS : Ride the changes. Take yourself to your edge. Be your best for the world.

50 B ELIEVE IT AND YOU’LL SEE IT. Commit to the results you’re looking for. Find ways around obstacles. Have high expectations.

51 Acknowledge all that you have to work with. Broaden your definition of winning. Look for ways to work cooperatively with others. RECOGNIZE ABUNDANCE.

52 Focus on opportunity, rather than scarcity. Find what’s working. Keep looking for the next possible answer. L OOK FOR POSSIBILITIES.

53 Connect with a positive vision. Believe that solutions exist. Focus on what is right with the situation. U NLEASH YOUR ENERGY TO FIX WHAT’S WRONG.

54 Realize that change is possibility. Learn to live with uncertainty, yet act with confidence. Challenge the order in your life. R IDE THE CHANGES.

55 T AKE YOURSELF TO YOUR EDGE. Trust yourself and create your own future. Follow your edge wherever it goes. Move beyond your best.

56 B E YOUR BEST FOR THE WORLD. Act with service and grace. Make a contribution through action. Talk about your successes to discover your dreams.





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