Sol Mamakwa MPP, Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

Mamakwa calls for action on youth suicides in the North

Published on October 21, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK - MPP Sol Mamakwa called on Doug Ford to take action to help stop youth suicides in the North and provide mental health supports immediately.

“This year we have had multiple young people die by suicide in Eabametoong, Webequie and Wunnumin Lake, and Poplar Hill. The mental health crisis that exists across the North is not letting up,” said Mamakwa, the NDP’s critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations.

“What is this government doing to ensure our youth have the mental health supports they need?”

In Kiiwetinoong, there were 562 deaths by suicide in the past 35 years among First Nations served by Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. The suicide rate among First Nations people is 24 per 100,000 people, three times higher than the rate in Canada. And in Kiiwetinoong it is much higher said Mamakwa.

“Mental health should have a no wrong door approach,” said Mamakwa. “It’s not right to use the excuse that Ontario has no jurisdiction for improving First Nations mental health services. Jordan's Principle ensures all First Nations children, no matter where they live, can access the services and supports they need, when they need them.

“The current resourcing for mental health supports is completely inadequate.

“The premier must stop ignoring the suicide epidemic in the North and provide support and funding for First Nations in Ontario who are dealing with this crisis on their own.”