3 suicides in Maskwacis, Alta., in a week prompt calls for hotline

Theresia Boysis, a resident of Maskwacis, formerly known as Hobbema, is pushing for a 24-hour suicide hotline for the central Alberta community after three women took their own lives last week. (CBC)

Theresia Boysis, a resident of Maskwacis, formerly known as Hobbema, is pushing for a 24-hour suicide hotline for the central Alberta community after three women took their own lives last week. (CBC)

Central Alberta community, once known as Hobbema, reeling over deaths

CBC News, March 13, 2014

Some members of the First Nation community of Maskwacis say they will push for 24-hour suicide hotline following the suicides of three women last week. 

“We’ve buried a lot of people,” said Samson Cree band councillor Kirk Buffalo. “A phone call or a program made available — I think that’s a step that we will take.

​”Whatever it takes, I will introduce it. I’m tired of burying people.”

Maskwacis, formerly known as Hobbema, is a community of four First Nations in central Alberta,  a community plagued by addiction and violence.

Resident Theresia Boysis is writing a proposal for the hotline.

She knows the sense of hopelessness and despair that leads to thoughts of suicide.

After a series of bad, sometimes abusive relationships, Boysis attempted to take her own life five times before she managed to turn things around.

“I thought, I’m all alone, my children are all taken away, so what’s the sense in living,” she said. “I must have taken I don’t know how many pills along with alcohol. They said I died … I OD’d.”

She would also like to see a healing centre built in the community, which would be staffed by people like her, long-time residents who know the community and its problems.

“I’d hold their hand and I’d make sure I’m with them all the time,” she said.

The hotline idea is also supported by local RCMP.

Having three suicides in the community in just one week shows how alarmingly high the rate is, said Insp. Charles Wood.

He plans to speak to the recently elected council members about the risk of suicide and what can be done to reduce the number of people dying at their own hand.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/3-suicides-in-maskwacis-alta-in-a-week-prompt-calls-for-hotline-1.2570939

 

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Posted on March 13, 2014, in Colonization and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. i have no words to express how I can only imagine the way it would feel to be apart of a community where these things happen…my heart goes out to all those affected by these tragedies and wish to send them all STRENGTH in my thoughts.

  2. while i think the suicide hotline is a good one, have an action plan to “reach out” to those friends and relatives, boyfriend/girlfriends (and, exs) who are high risk–this trauma of loss will be highest for the next 6 months to a year.

    i also like the idea of the “safe house” (a place where those in need can come and find comfort–perhaps with coffee and always someone who will sit and listen) and would suggest making sure that this is open/available at nights and on weekends!

    i assume there is a community crisis-intervention team from the community? the bottom line is that although there are “outside” resources, the “healing” must come from “within”, the community itself.

    IMHO

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