Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We must overcome suicide epidemic among aboriginal youth

**Editor's note: This is an article that was published on back in February, 2009. If I could rewrite this article, I would have avoided using the term "epidemic" in this article. In fact, everything that I publish (including the information published on the HLN) avoids describing Aboriginal youth suicide rates as an epidemic. Instead, I would describe this situation as a crisis.

By Megan Schellenberg

I recently met a man of aboriginal decent by the name of Arnold W. Thomas who was at a First Nations youth suicide-prevention conference in Saskatchewan. Mr. Thomas is a renowned public speaker, the CEO of his own company, and travels around North America and Europe to discuss the value of life and the triumph of overcoming an attempted suicide. When he was just 18 years old, he attempted suicide by bringing a hunting rifle to his chin and pulling the trigger. While he is now blind and has visible scars from the incident, he carries himself with confidence. The message he promotes is just as powerful—and rightly so.

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