The suicide of another young girl in the province has left leaders searching for answers.
Four young people have taken their lives in northern Saskatchewan this month. The most recent was a 10-year-old girl from Deschambault Lake.
Her tragic death has sent a shockwave throughout the province with Premier Brad Wall vowing to take action.
“There really are no words. Neither are there words to properly express our concern for what might lead young people to this conclusion,” he said.
“We’ll continue to respond to these suicides and work very, very hard with local leadership to ensure that they stop.”
The province confirmed a working group has been created on the ground to address the tragedies. It involves representatives of First Nations communities, the health region, area tribal council and mental health supports.
Bob Pringle, the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, said the recent string of suicides is a wakeup call.
“It’s a big alert to all of us in the province, just a strong message that we need to build in services, mental health, addiction services, support services,” he said.
“I think some communities are feeling desperate today, because I’ve been told by some that the question is what families are going to be next week or tomorrow.”
Two girls from Stanley Mission and one from La Ronge also committed suicide earlier this month and First Nations officials have said more than 20 youths are considered at risk.
NDP interim leader Trent Wotherspoon called these circumstances devastating saying the opposition would stand together with the government.
“We need to reach out to these communities right now in a very urgent way,” Wotherspoon said.
“It’s beyond sad to see young people, such young people, getting to that point of such darkness and despair.”
Rural health minister Greg Ottenbreit said the 811 Healthline is also there to offer immediate support.
“I think it is very important that we recognize that people have access to those mental health professionals, quite often in the case of suicidal thoughts that people need to talk to someone very quickly,” Ottenbreit said.
Earlier this month the federal government launched the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line to provide crisis counselling 24/7. The toll-free number is 1‑855‑242-3310. It’s available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
With files from the Canadian Press.