Youth suicide rates also rose steeply in 2017, with a 77% rise in suicides between boys aged 15 - 19. This is especially prevalent in our indigenous communities, and is in fact the second biggest killer of this demographic of men. This alone should be considered a national tragedy and enough cause to see this issue addressed readily and in full by both government and health ministries, as well as community groups and programs in both indigenous and non-indigenous men’s health.
Currently BTG does not specifically offer youth services but we have identified this as an area of growing concern, one which needs to be addressed and for which services are still disappointingly limited. An increase in funding for this department would allow for new staff to be brought on board to focus on developing art and lifestyle programs and to invest in more community spaces to offer youth programs, which are separate from the existing resource centre.
We are currently applying for grants and seeking funding, donations or in kind services to help us expand into this field and address this area of growing concern appropriately.