Northern psychologist blames lack of community development in aboriginal communities for high adolescent suicide rates

Psychologist returns to northern community after a quarter of a century to find the same issues still contributing to youth suicide
LA RONGE, Saskatchewan - Jan. 15, 2017 - PRLog -- Northern Saskatchewan psychologist Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson recently returned to the community he helped in the early 1990s in dealing with the same problem: Epidemic levels of youth suicide attempts. While the community of Stanley Mission had previously made considerable progress, that progress had been largely reversed a quarter of a century later.

"After having been labelled 'the suicide capital of Canada' by the Toronto Globe and Mail, community members in 1993 and 1994 took charge and developed a new community culture that was suicide resistant. I now witnessed a return to passive dependency on outside experts, a failure to recognize local resources, a fear of innovation, and a tendency toward lateral violence," said Dr. Robertson.

Robertson stated that when he approached local officials about initiating community development, he was told that such a program would have to wait until after band elections later this year. He lamented:

"Since when is empowering individuals to take charge of their own lives and those of their families a political issue awaiting an election?"

Prior to the latest flurry of suicide attempts that began in October 2016, Dr. Robertson completed a psycho-historical analysis of Stanley Mission. That analysis was published in the Interamerican Journal of Psychology and may be found at:

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Tags:Suicide, Community Development, Aboriginal Health
Industry:Health, Medical, Society
Location:La Ronge - Saskatchewan - Canada
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