Knowledge Mobilization on youth-led suicide prevention

Last modified by Doug Maynard on 2018/04/26 19:34

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in Canada and beyond(Kutcher & Szumilas, 2008). Many youth suicide prevention programs have been developed inresponse to this concerning trend, ranging in focus from school-based curriculum and awarenesscampaigns for all youth, to those that focus specifically on high-risk groups. Many of theseprograms are intended to strengthen protective factors, which are those that reduce the risk ofsuicide, such as social connectedness, self-esteem, ability to adapt to changing environments, andproblem-solving skills, to name but a few (Suicide Prevention Resource Centre [SPRC], 2011).However, the majority of these programs to date have been developed and delivered to youth,rather than by youth (Lindquist-Grantz, 2018). 

A growing evidence base suggests that engaging youth as meaningful and active partners inprogram development helps to strengthen the protective factors mentioned above, for beingvalued contributors and decision makers is in and of itself empowering (Checkoway, 2011).Furthermore, the benefits of youth engagement reach beyond those youth involved in thedevelopment and implementation of suicide prevention initiatives, extending to the youth forwhom those programs serve. This is in part because youth are best positioned to respond to thecomplex realities of their peers (Chung-Do et al., 2011), and because youth are more likely toapproach a peer than an adult when experiencing thoughts of suicide (Together to Live, 2016).Of particular value to First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities are those youth-drivenprevention programs that leverage culture, language, and traditional practices. Suicide preventionprograms that are conceptualized, developed and prioritized by Indigenous communities,including youth, ensure that the programs are responsive to local cultural meanings, and adaptiveto local historical, community, and cultural practices (Wexler & Gone, 2012). 

Wisdom to Action brought together youth, researchers, service providers, government officials,Elders and health care providers from coast to coast to coast in February 2018 in Vancouver tostart sharing what works in youth-led suicide prevention and to consider issues related toprograms and projects. This webinar will provide an overview of emergent research on youth-ledsuicide prevention and results from the W2A event. Participants will also learn about the work ofthe Embrace Life Council and We Matter.

Click here to download the slides for this presentation:

Linnea Dick, We Matter

Linnea Dick is an orator, activist and writer from the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a and Tsimshian nations. She became involved in indigenous activism in 2013 with a conviction to create social change and help heal the injustices faced by Indigenous people. Through this work, she began to heal and recognize her purpose in life - to advocate for indigenous youth, culture and sexual assault victims through public speaking and, later, curating. From 2015 - 2017, she worked closely with UBC, where her late father, Beau Dick, was an artist in residence. He continues to be one of the biggest inspirations in life; a strong sense of identity, integrity and dignity instilled within her. In 2015, she had a written piece published in the book Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity, sharing her journey through activist movement “Awalaskenis” and the importance of connection to culture. More recently, she had her second publication, a poem, published in C Magazine issue 135: “Voice” in collaboration with Jeneen Frei Njootli’s“red rose and lidii”. She is currently working as a social media and outreach coordinator for the non-profit organization We Matter, while still dedicating much of her free time to her passions.Linnea continues to share her story through different avenues, and in her spare time enjoys writing, hiking, meditation and yoga. She chooses to live as her ancestors did: on the path of sobriety and with love for her community.

Lisa Lachance 

Lisa has been Executive Director of Wisdom2Action since 2013. Lisa uses her strong culturalcompetence and collaborative leadership skills to connect people in meaningful ways – so theycan solve problems and move forward. Lisa also loves to create positive change withinorganizations, her own and others. She has facilitated participatory community-building andknowledge-sharing workshops for thousands of people.Lisa started her in the public sector, working at the Canadian International DevelopmentAgency (CIDA) where she promoted children’s rights and participation worldwide. She returnedto Halifax in 2008, as the inaugural Director of Policy for the Nova Scotia Department ofFinance. She has consulted for Canadian, international, and United Nations organizations onchildren’s rights and gender equality projects. Her areas of expertise include knowledgemobilization, policy development and implementation, strategic and operational planning andimplementation, facilitation, and Results-Based Management.Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and a Masters in PublicAdministration, both from Dalhousie University, and has started her PhD in Health. She and herpartner Heather have two children and enjoy travelling and outdoor adventures. She has also been recognized as an effective non-profit leader as past president and board member of arange of national Canadian non-profit organizations. She remains active in many communityorganizations in Halifax.

Created by Ann Watkins on 2018/04/09 19:57