A Cry for Guidance
‘We are dying’: Maskwacis community members overwhelmed by suicides.
Emily Soosay is grieving the loss of her 22-year-old son Luwen Soosay-Morin, who took his life two days before Christmas. Saturday she attended a vigil for a celebration of life following a wave of recent deaths by suicide in her home community of Maskwacis, Alta.
She doesn’t want anyone else to die, in what she calls an “epidemic.”
“I am broken, hurt. I’m lost. I’m crying out for guidance,” she said.
“Right now our nation is in a state of crisis. We’re in need of help bad. We are dying. […] The chief should call a state of emergency.”
She has lost several family members and friends to suicide over the years — Soosay’s cousin also took her life just two weeks after her son. She was too traumatized to attend her cousin’s funeral.
Maskwacis Indian Health Services mental health worker Rick Lightning said there have been 14 deaths by suicide within the four nations that make up Maskwacis since December 2017. He also believes local leadership should call a state of emergency because help is desperately needed.
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January 18, 2018