Sandy Bay Suicide Crisis Making Headlines

Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 13:35



A northern community’s recent struggle with suicides is in the spotlight today.


The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix is reporting five young people in Sandy Bay have hung themselves in the last few months — and 12 more residents have attempted suicide.


The victims have been between the ages of 15 and 31 — the most recent was a 15-year-old girl, whose funeral was held this past Saturday.


FSIN chief Lawrence Joseph was one of those in attendance.


Local officials say most of the victims had been drinking — and many were dealing with issues like addictions and family turmoil.


Mayor Ina-Fietz Ray says local elders are indicating they’ve never seen this level of despair before.


Fietz-Ray says Sandy Bay is not immune to the kind of despair seen in many isolated communities.


A community planning meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and Fietz-Ray says the discussion will focus on upgrading sports, recreational and cultural programming for youth.


She says while outside agencies have been very supportive, the solutions have to be community-driven.


Fietz-Ray is also urging Saskatchewan people to pray for her community.