According to Lathlin the crisis is linked to higher rates of poverty and addictions and the effects of intergenerational trauma. As a result indigenous youth are six times more likely to commit suicide and experience substance abuse than anyone else in the province. Lathlin said there are not enough mental health resources available in the north to help our children. She noted most First Nation communities do not even have a permanent mental health professional and in order to see a psychiatrist our northern youth have to leave their home and travel hundreds of miles away from their friends and family. She added a report called for the removal of the geographical gap in the treatment access nearly a year ago but this government has done nothing, in fact it made it harder for our northern youth and their families to seek treatment.
Lathlin concluded by saying northern Manitobans deserve better because too many youth have already taken their lives because they couldn’t get the treatment they needed.