Ontario Health Minister Announces $2-Million In Aid For Attawapiskat


A tattered Canadian flag flies over a building in Attawapiskat, Ont., on November 29, 2011. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Canadian Press, Apr. 13, 2016

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins has announced measures to help Attawapiskat cope with a suicide emergency.

Hoskins visited the remote northern Ontario First Nation on Wednesday and met with leaders to discuss the crisis.

The minister says the province will provide up to $2-million for a Youth Regional Co-ordination Unit and will deploy additional health-care workers and support staff in the community.

They include four psychological health workers, up to five nurses, two security staff, one communications officer and one incident manager.

Hoskins says the workers will provide around the clock mental health support, and evening and night nursing clinical support.

On Monday, officials thwarted what they called a suicide pact by 13 young aboriginal people, including a nine-year-old, after they were overheard making plans to kill themselves.

Attawapiskat’s leaders declared a state of emergency on Saturday, citing 11 suicide attempts so far in the month of April and 28 recorded attempts in March “Our government will be working with the community in the coming days to determine other supports and investments that can be made to help address this crisis,” Hoskins said.

“The provincial government, the local Band Council and the community will hold a forum to develop a long-term plan to support the community to ensure the people of Attawapiskat – particularly youth – feel safe, respected and supported.”