OTTAWA, June 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, I met with an inspiring group of young people from the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council to discuss their views on the many pressing challenges they and their peers are facing. I was encouraged by their demonstration of courage and honesty as they shared their personal stories and the priorities of the youth in their communities on the very difficult topic of mental wellness and suicide.
Lately, we have seen many media headlines sharing stories of tragedy, struggle and loss. We have also heard words of despair from some of our First Nations youth who talk about bullying, low self-esteem, and a lost sense of purpose and identity as some of the reasons why they or their peers are turning to suicide and self-harm. But I saw a great demonstration of leadership on these issues today, and it should give us all reason for hope.
Our Government is committed to working in genuine partnership with First Nations leadership and the provinces and territories to ensure better health, social and economic outcomes for all community members, including youth. I am confident that these young leaders will help move us all further along the path of reconciliation. They are committed to their own healing and that of their communities. And I am confident these young leaders will help build a bright future for their peers. As the federal Minister of Health, I am committed to listening to them and I look forward to continuing this journey together as we support them in realizing their dreams and aspirations.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709