'I'm scared to answer my phone': Sask. First Nation leader confirms sixth attempted suicide in less than a week
A hug shared Friday afternoon at Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation School.
SASKATOON -- The suicide crisis on the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation is deepening after a sixth young person tried to end their own life, according to a community leader.
The attempt comes after five others, reportedly occurring over the weekend, all involving teens.
"I'm scared to answer my phone," band manager Barry Chalifoux said in an interview.
Chalifoux and Marion Mitsuing, a mental health therapist based in the community, said they were notified by Monday night about a sixth attempt, also involving a teen.
The teen's life was saved only because a friend intervened, Mitsuing said.
"It's really overwhelming, it's like 'What is wrong?' people are asking," Marion Mitsuing said. "I don't have the answer."
The community declared a state of crisis on Thursday after a 10-year-old girl died by suicide.
Last week a father in his early 40s took his life, and earlier in the month a 14-year-old died by suicide.
Chalifoux said since the declaration, Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation has received outside assistance from the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, and volunteers from surrounding communities.
However, he worries the support is not long term.
"Some are only going to be here for a couple more days. Throughout the next week or two I think we're going to be back on our own," he said.
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) and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868) 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. The Centre for Suicide Prevention (1-833-456-4566) is a place where resources on suicide prevention can be found.