Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
A state of emergency has been declared at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in response to what community leadership are calling a "mental health crisis."
The decision came during an emergency meeting held Friday, at which chief and council discussed "a large number of deaths since January 2020."
Specifically, a band council resolution cites their most recent concerns "regarding the proliferating effects of suicide within the community," as well as "compounding and escalating addictions and mental health problems" and "ongoing grief and trauma that has ultimately impacted the community collective."
The resolution and a corresponding message posted to Sioux Valley’s website also cites the COVID-19 pandemic as a factor.
According to the resolution: "Pandemic safeguards are hindering the community’s ability to conduct traditional and cultural grief and trauma practices for the health and safety of the community."
The message makes note of the added stress the pandemic has brought for some who fear bringing the virus home with them, students adapting to taking classes from home and for people with mental health conditions, "many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye."
The resolution both declares the state of emergency and calls on federal and provincial partners for "immediate assistance and to aid in planning for short and long mental health resources."
The Sun reached out to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Chief Jennifer Bone, the office of Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and provincial spokespeople for comment on Sunday afternoon but did not receive an immediate response. We will continue to seek their insights on this story.
CBC News has reported that four people have died by suicide in the First Nation in the past month.
On their Facebook page, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation has advertised a World Suicide Prevention Day walk for the Sioux Valley High School on Wednesday at 1 p.m. They plan on looping around the school and then returning for snacks and beverages. Masks are encouraged and physical distancing will be in effect.
The First Nation has also posted a number of help lines online, which are as follows:
Sioux Valley Crisis Line: 204-512-0874 / 1-888-316-3511
CRISIS – SOUTH DISTRICT (formerly Brandon, Assiniboine)
Adult crisis line, 24/7: 1-888-379-7699
Youth Under 18 crisis line 24/7: 1-866-403-5459
Crisis Stabilization Unit: 1-855-222-6011 or 204-727-2555
Mobile Crisis Services: 204-725-4411
CRISIS – NORTH DISTRICT (former Parkland)
Adult and Youth Crisis Line, (24/7): 1-866-332-3030
NON-CRISIS – SOUTH
Adult Community Mental Health Intake
1-855-222-6011 (M-F 8:30-4:30)
Youth (17 and under) Community Mental Health Intake, SEE:
NON-CRISIS – NORTH
Mental Health Intake (all ages):
Ste. Rose du Lac: 204-447-4080
Swan River: 204-734-6601
Non-emergency and toll free addiction help lines:
Manitoba Addictions Helpline: 1-855-662-6605
Youth Addictions Centralized Information Line: 1-877-710-3999
Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line
(confidential and 24/7): 1-877-435-7170
For 24 hour assistance, Klinic Crisis Line
Phone: (204) 786-8686 / Toll free: 1-888-322-3019
TTY: (204) 784-4097
MbAddictionHelp.ca – other supportive resources
As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.
Now, more than ever, we need your support.
Starting at $4.99/month you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.Subscribe Now
or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.
Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!