Saskatchewan chief disappointed at lack of long term help to stop suicides 

REGINA- The chief of a northern Saskatchewan First Nation says he is disappointed at the lack of long-term help from the provincial and federal governments to deal with a suicide crisis.

Ronald Mitsuing of the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation, along with another band leader, travelled to Regina to meet with ministers and the deputy premier.

The leaders are concerned about what they are calling “cluster suicides” in their community of Loon Lake, about 360 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

They say there have been three suicides, including one by a 10-year-old girl, in three weeks and eight suicide attempts, mostly by young people.

Mitsuing says Saskatchewan Health Authority officials sent to help will eventually leave and temporary assistance isn’t enough.

He says he wants people in the community to be trained on how to spot signs of suicidal thoughts.

Band leaders are also calling on the government to support a long- term suicide prevention strategy to help all First Nations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2019.

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