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OISE Indigenous expert Suzanne Stewart weighs in on First Nations community suicide crisis

By Lindsey Craig & Sim Kapoor

April 20, 2016

OISE Indigenous mental health expert Suzanne Stewart discusses the crisis in Attawapiskat. (Video: CP24)

A crisis has been declared following a spree of suicide attempts – including 11 in one day – in the First Nation community of Attawapiskat, in Northern Ontario.

As news of the tragedy spreads, OISE Aboriginal mental health expert Suzanne Stewart sheds light on many of the issues facing those in the remote community of less than 2,000.

“Over this past year, they’ve had almost 30 youth attempt suicide, and unfortunately this isn’t something that’s a new problem in this community and other communities like this,” Dr. Stewart told CP24.

She noted the problems stemmed from a lack of resources for education, for mental health, for health, for youth and for families.

“Unemployment is very high because there are no resources in the community, and many of the mental health problems that plague this community and communities like this, are really to do with social and economic factors, and social and economic determinants of health. Right now there is absolutely a crisis.”

OISE Indigenous mental health expert Suzanne Stewart says the problems facing First Nations communities is a Canadian problem. (Video: CTV News)

Prof. Suzanne Stewart featured on the Agenda with Steve Paikin/YouTube.