Matthew Ragan / CC BY-SA 2.0

A First Nation community of 2,000 in Canada has declared a state of emergency after 11 of its members tried to take their own lives on the same day.

CTV News reported on Sunday that the remote northern community of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario experienced an additional 28 suicide attempts last month. More than 100 people in the community have attempted suicide since last September, and one person died, according to CTV. The youngest was 11, the oldest 71.

Charlie Angus, the local member of parliament, told the Canadian Press it was part of a “rolling nightmare” of more and more suicide attempts among young people throughout the winter.

The Canadian Press said the regional First Nations government was sending a crisis response unit including social workers and mental health nurses to the community following the declaration. The Health Canada federal agency said in a statement that it had sent two mental health counsellors as part of that unit. …

Canada’s 1.4 million Indigenous people, who make up about 4% of the country’s population, have higher levels of poverty and a lower life expectancy than other Canadians and are more often victims of violent crime, addiction and incarceration.

Canada’s CBC news said triggers for the spate of suicide attempts included drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse and bullying at school.

Read more.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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