April 9, 2008
For immediate release
OTTAWA, ON - Today, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, was joined by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) CEO Dr. Paulette Tremblay to unveil a new Web site to help combat suicide among Aboriginal youth. Called the Honouring Life Network, the site is targeted at both Aboriginal youth and suicide prevention workers in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Health Minister Tony Clement, Minister Strahl, and NAHO CEO Dr. Paulette Tremblay presented the site to media and guests at a lunch hour press conference in the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Ottawa.
"Suicide among Aboriginal youth is an urgent matter," stated Minister Clement. "I am very proud that the Government of Canada has funded this innovative tool that will help First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth rediscover the joy of life, and let them know that there are resources available to help them through difficult times," added the Minister.
Health Canada provided funding for the Honouring Life Network Web site under the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, a five-year $65 million strategy that seeks to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors associated with suicide through community-based programming.
"Suicide is a grave problem in our communities, one that affects our youth at vastly disproportionate rates from the rest of Canada," said Paulette Tremblay, CEO of NAHO. "We believe that the Honouring Life Network will be an invaluable tool for those working to prevent suicides in our communities."
Available in English, French and Inuktitut, the site contains resources for youth and youth workers, including a Youth Worker's Forum where youth workers from across the country can connect to discuss and share suicide prevention resources and strategies. Personal stories and fact sheets are also available for youth to read about specific issues that they, or their friends, might be facing. The site's comprehensive directory of suicide prevention resources is updated regularly to help youth workers in Aboriginal communities find the most relevant and up-to-date information and material.
The Web site stemmed from a joint working group of the Indian Health Service in the United States and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada.
For more information, please visit the Honouring Life Network Web site.
The National Aboriginal Health Organization is an Aboriginal-designed and -controlled body committed to influencing and advancing the health and well-being of Aboriginal Peoples through knowledge-based strategies.
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Federal Minister of Health
Manager, Communications and Research, NAHO
Toll-free: 1-877-602-4445 ext. 228
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