1.1 Background Information
Black Lake Community is located in the northern part of Saskatchewan. Black Lake community has been grappling with a high number of suicide rates. The Black Lake Community is inhabited by aboriginal people of Metis descent. Northern Saskatchewan is the region in Saskatchewan that has the highest rates of attempted suicide. Reports reveal that between January and February 2017, about thirty people in the Black Lake Community attempted suicide. There are few mental health professionals who work in the Black Lake community. The few mental health professionals have found themselves working overtime based on a high number of people involved in suicide ideation and those who attempt to commit suicide. There are also few mental health services in the Black Lake Community. There is a need for more mental health services to deal with the problem of mental health that has highly affected inhabitants of the Black Lake Community. The Community has a habit of calling for reinforcement of mental health professionals from other regions to deal with mental health cases in the community. Temporary reinforcements are not enough to deal with mental health problems in the Black Lake Community. There is a need for long-term therapists that will ensure that the problem of mental health in the community is effectively addressed. Long term therapists will play a major role in ensuring that high rates of attempted suicide that stem from mental problems is fully addressed (Adelson, 2005).
Suicide rates are high among Canada First Nations and Metis Communities. First Nation and Metis Communities have been plagued with suicide for decades. Studies continue to reveal that suicide, and self-inflicted injuries are among the major causes of deaths First Nations and Metis Communities. Studies have revealed that males are three times likely to commit suicide than females.There is a need for Canada to come up with a national strategy to combat high suicide rates among First Nations and Metis Communities. A study was done that revealed that about 20% of First Nations and Metis Communities people have suicidal thoughts at a point in their lives. However, problems of suicide on First Nation reserves are more serious due to challenges that those people face with regard to accessing mental health services. The Canadian government has not accorded First Nations and Metis Communities with appropriate resources for dealing with complicated grief that mostly instigates individuals to have suicidal ideation. This is in contrary in suburban areas that are mostly inhabited by Caucasians where it seems there are always available resources to deal with problems of complicated grief. It has been revealed that individuals as young as 11 years old have attempted to commit suicide in First Nations and Metis Communities (Fraser et al., 2015).
There is a period when cases of suicide in a certain First Nation Community that leaders of that community declared a state of emergency so as to attract the attention that the problem of suicide in the community deserves. As a result, the suicide started to receive some attention from the Canadian government. Studies have revealed that self-inflicted injuries and suicide are the leading cause of deaths among First Nation Community individuals who are below 44 years of age. The studies further revealed that suicide rates among First Nation communities male youth are ten times higher than the suicide rates among non-indigenous male youths (Wilson & Cardwell, 2012).
1.2 Statement of problem
Suicide is a big problem in the Black Lake Community. Suicide rates in Black Lake Community are among the highest in Canada and the world! Attempts at suicide rates are also high in the Black Lake Community. In the last two months (January and February 2017), thirty people attempted to commit suicide. There is a need to establish why many people in the Black Lake Community commit suicide and attempt to commit suicide.
a) To establish causes of suicide and attempted suicide in Black Lake Community
b) To establish prevalence and distribution of suicide in Black Lake Community
c) To establish the method of committing suicide that is popular in Black Lake Community
d) To establish possible solutions to high rates of suicide in Black Lake Community
e) To establish best methods of dealing with suicide among members of the Black Lake Community
There is a need to ascertain factors that contribute to high suicide rate in Black Lake Community. Establishment of the factors will play a major role towards ensuring that relevant preventive measures are established to combat high suicide rates in Black Lake Community.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 CAUSES OF SUICIDE IN FIRST NATION COMMUNITIES
Depression is a state that is characterized by a concert of emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physical symptoms. People who are depressed often experience poor concentration, disturbed sleep, sad mood, low self-esteem, low self-worth, loss of interest in life and sometimes, suicide ideation. Depression in Canadas First Nations Communities is the highest when compared with suicide rates among other communities. Aboriginal people face a myriad number of health challenges. A study that was conducted in 2007 revealed that about 80% of Aboriginal people face a large number of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual problems that makes them highly susceptible to depression. Despite Aboriginal people being highly susceptible to depression, they are less likely to seek professional help with regard to their depression when compared with Caucasians. It has been revealed that high levels of depression play a major role in aggravating incidents of suicide among Canadas First Nations communities (Adelson, 2008).
2.1.2 Mental health problems
Mental health problems are rampant among Aboriginal communities. Studies have revealed that isolation is the major cause of mental health problems among First Nation and Metis Communities. There are studies that have revealed that imposition of European culture on Aboriginal people has contributed a great deal to mental health problems associated with aboriginals. Loss of indigenous culture among Aboriginals has also contributed a great deal to mental health problems that are experienced by Aboriginals. Loss of self-determination among Aboriginals has also contributed to increasing in mental health problems among Aboriginals. For hundreds of years, Canadas First Nations and Metis Communities have dealt with problems of trauma (Snowshoe et al., 2017).
Studies have revealed that Canadas First Nations and Metis Communities rank among people who are most traumatized in the world. Trauma that affects First Nations Communities people stems from several factors. There have been concerns that natural resources that are available in Indigenous peoples ancestral land continue to be exploited by the Canadian government yet the government is doing very little to improve the living conditions communities. There have been complaints by Canadas indigenous people that the richness of their natural resources is being used to improve living conditions of Caucasian communities as they continue to wallow in poverty. The chronicity of trauma experienced by indigenous people is too high to the extent that pundits believe that there will be no recovery period in the foreseeable future. Indigenous people have been traumatized for hundreds of years from what they believe is unfair treatment by the Canadian government. Studies have revealed that bullying in school plays a major role in adolescents who belong to First Nations and Metis Communities having suicide ideation (Kirmayer & Valaskakis, 2009).
The high cost of living among First Nation Communities has made it difficult for qualified mental health professionals to move into those areas and address mental health problems that fuel high suicide rates. As a result, health authorities in those areas have been forced to rely on unaccredited community members who have little knowledge about mental health problems. However, it is worth mentioning that based on the fact that the unaccredited community members have little knowledge on mental health issues, they are likely to misdiagnose a mental health issue and exacerbate a mental health problem instead of solving the problem. Failure to have accredited mental health professionals living in proximity to First Nation Communities has led to an increase in vulnerability of indigenous people to suicide ideation. Failure to have adequate numbers of accredited mental health professionals among First Nation Communities has led to many cases of Post-traumatic stress disorder in the community (Snowshoe et al., 2017).
There are few mental health professionals in isolated areas where Aboriginals live. Inaccessibility of most of the region that is inhabited by First Nation Communities has made it difficult for mental health professionals to travel among indigenous people and provide them with required mental health solutions. Mental health professionals that have worked in First Nation Communities have asserted that when working in those communities, they have come across many individuals with depression, childhood trauma, grief and suicidal thoughts (Kirmayer & Valaskakis, 2009).
Mental wellness support teams have not received the required support to deal with mental health issues that affect inhabitants of First Nation communities. The communities have immense needs with regard to mental health issues whereas available resources to deal with the needs are limited (Snowshoe et al., 2017).
2.1.3 Health problems
Health problems among First Nations and Metis Communities contribute a great deal to individuals having suicidal ideation. There are inadequate health care programs among First Nation Communities. Healthcare nurses that work in First Nation communities are often overburdened and overwhelmed by a high number of individuals who seek their services (Adelson, 2005).
Isolation that is accorded to indigenous people has left most of them in profound despair and hopelessness. Most indigenous people feel ostracized by Canadas government system. Most indigenous people believe that their being ostracized stems from the Indian Act, a document that has been in existence for more than one hundred and forty years. They further claim that the despair and poverty that they feel stems from the Indian Act. The Indian Act came into place when indigenous people signed treaties with Caucasians with the hope that they will share their resources and lands with the latter, just for the latter to turn against the former and exile them to what we currently know as First Nations Reserves (Chandler & Lalonde, 1999).
There are individuals who are of the opinion that for Indigenous people to stop feeling isolated in their country, the Canadian government needs to replace the Indian Act with new legislation that will allow indigenous people to govern themselves and pursue self-determination. Pundits affirm that the Indian Act is a form of apartheid and it needs to abolish so that indigenous people may stop feeling isolated in their country (Fraser et al., 2015).
The isolation that indigenous people feel has made it difficult for them to access good paying jobs. As a result, some of them have resorted to engaging in crime to earn a living. Some of the indigenous people have resorted to abusing drugs as a temporary escape from reality and their problems. Based on the isolation that most indigenous feel; it is not surprising that more than half of indigenous children are reliant on Canadas child welfare system. The isolation an...
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