Saskatchewan`s Opposition NDP is pushing the government to adopt a new Indigenous suicide prevention strategy.
Last week, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations put forward its own strategy to reduce Indigenous suicide in the province.
In Question Period Monday, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on the government to fully adopt the strategy.
“Will this government join us in full support of this strategy and commit today to the funding and support necessary for FSIN to fully implement this strategy in Saskatchewan?“ he asked.
However, although Premier Scott Moe says he will work with the FSIN on the suicide prevention strategy, he stopped short of fully endorsing it.
Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit adds the government is already acting on a number of initiatives.
“There has been a lot of action taken by the government over the last number of years when it comes to suicide, northern suicide, and in fact mental health supports for people throughout the province,“ he says.
Ottenbreit says the Saskatchewan 811 Health Line and greater mental health supports to the Saskatchewan Health Authority are examples of this commitment.
The FSIN says suicide rates amongst First Nations people are four times higher than non-First Nations people.
The organization`s prevention strategy also says suicide rates for Indigenous women 10 to 19-years-old are almost 30 times higher than non-Indigenous women in the same age group.
For Indigenous men, this number is 6.4 times higher.
(Photo: Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili, courtesy Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan)