Tribes 'Embracing Life' in wake of suicides
The Cowichan Tribes continue to explore ways of improving life in the community in the wake of declaring a state of emergency and over 60 suicide alert calls since January.
Stephanie Charlie, the manager of the Embracing Life project, said they have noticed a recurring trend every 10 to 20 years.
“We went through this in the 70s and in the 90s, and now we’re going through this again, where we’ve had a number of attempts and deaths,” she explained.
“We’re looking at how we addressed those emergencies at that time and how we’re addressing them now and how we can… look forward in a more positive, healthy way for our community—long term planning—so in 10, 20 years, we’re not going through this again.”
Charlie said they're approaching the 'Embracing Life project' in a holistic sense, looking at economics and job development as well as working on social and family issues.
As part of efforts to address the suicide alert calls, staff at Cowichan Tribes offices have taken a workshop called ASIST: the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training to help them identify the signs of suicide and how to act accordingly.
The Tribes are also organizing events, including a community meeting focused on promoting healthy families and connecting culture on July 12 for Cowichan Tribes’ members.
Photo: Cowichan Tribes Chief Harvey Alphonse at a press conference in early May during which he explained the state of emergency.
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