Suicide prevention resources published

Graphic novels have been published to help Alberta Indigenous youth take steps to prevent suicide. Standing left-right, are Elder Travis Plaited Hair, Jennifer Houle-Famakinde, Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz, Calgary East MLA Peter Singh, Elder Gloria Laird, Centre for Suicide Prevention Centre executive director Mara Grunau and Calgary-Klein MLA Jeremy Nixon support the launch of new suicide prevention graphic novels for First Nations and Metis youth.

Peavine Metis Settlement consulted in the project

SPN Staff

Two new graphic novels developed for First Nations and Métis youth will help start conversations about suicide prevention.

More than 100 Indigenous youth from across Alberta shared their stories in the project, says a government news release dated Sept. 10.

First Nation and Métis producers, writers and artists also helped to develop the stories.

Peavine Metis Settlement near High Prairie and Cadotte Lake First Nation east of Peace River were among several communities consulted in the project.

“Youth suicide is a tragedy and these new tools share a message of hope, reflect Indigenous voices and respect the uniqueness of First Nations and Métis cultures and traditions in our province,” Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says.

“The novels were created by and for First Nations and Métis youth and provide an opportunity for honest conversation about youth suicide and, most importantly, support and encouragement to reach out and ask for help if you need it.”

The graphic novels and motion graphic novels were created by Indigenous Story Studio, a British Columbia-based production facility specializing in the creation of illustrations, posters, videos and comic books for Indigenous youth.

“To see the collective experiences and personal insights shared so openly with us by First Nations and Métis youth in these graphic novels is truly inspirational,” says Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“These novels open the door to difficult discussion about suicide, while also sharing important messages of strength and hope and the power of community.

“This tool will help break down stigma and help others reach out to find their own pathway to wellness.”

A leader of a major organization values the resource.

“We are pleased to partner with the Alberta government in preventing youth suicide and to share our newly developed guide as an additional resource to support Indigenous communities . . . ,” says Mara Grunau, executive director, Centre for Suicide Prevention

Alberta has one of the highest provincial rates of youth suicide in Canada. The rate of suicide among Indigenous youth is roughly five to six times higher than among non-Indigenous youth.

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