Suicide-prevention resources for Indigenous youth

(L to R) Elder Travis Plaited Hair, Jennifer Houle-Famakinde, Minister Rebecca Schulz, MLA Peter Singh, Elder Gloria Laird, Mara Grunau and MLA Jeremy Nixon support the launch of new suicide prevention graphic novels for First Nations and Metis youth.

More than 100 Indigenous youth from across Alberta, in addition to First Nation and Métis producers, writers and artists, were engaged in the development of the stories.

“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. 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.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services

“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. 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.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“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 in developing life-promotion strategies and activities.”

Mara Grunau, executive director, Centre for Suicide Prevention

Quick facts

  • 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.
  • The graphic novels were developed through consultation with:
    • Métis Calgary Family Services
    • Métis Nation of Alberta Youth Annual General Assembly
    • Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement
    • Beaver/Tallcree First Nations
    • Cadotte Lake First Nation
    • Peavine Metis Settlement
    • Ponoka Health Services
    • Samson Community Wellness
  • 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.

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