Nearly a month into suicide crisis Attawapiskat still waiting for action from

first_imgAPTN National NewsNDP MP Charlie Angus says there’s real concern in Attawapiskat children continue to fall through the cracks because the Cree community still lacks a dedicated child mental health counselor.Angus said despite reports last week there was a counselor dedicated to children in the northern Ontario First Nation it’s simply not the case.In fact, if the government doesn’t act immediately, the suicide crisis gripping the small remote community could get worse.“Twenty-eight days into the (suicide crisis) we’re still waiting for badly needed mental health counselors for children,” said Angus, who was in Ottawa Tuesday after a trip to Attawapiskat, a community in his riding. “For the federal government not to know what they actually had on the ground to help the community is very troubling.”There is an emergency team provided by the province providing support in Attawapiskat’s hospital and its stay there has been extended another 30 days.But Angus said there needs to be dedicated funding to put permanent support for the community on the ground.He also added if a community like Attawapiskat can wait for action, “What does that mean for communities that aren’t on the government’s radar?”Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett visited the community shortly after the crisis began and vowed to build a youth centre and bring a delegation of youth to Ottawa.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said recently he intends to meet with the chief of Attawapiskat in Ottawa at an undetermined date.Attawapiskat, a Cree community which sits about 90 kilometres away from a De Beers diamond mine in Ontario’s James Bay region, has been hit with dozens of attempted suicides of youth.The tragedy took root in October after the suicide death of a 13-year-old girl named Sheridan Hookimaw.“I don’t want to lose another child on my watch,” said [email protected]last_img

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