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There’s a big development happening right now on social media. It’s called the MotherLove project. It was started by Ladies who Lunch originator Catherine Landry in support of the Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. The Cree Nation is facing a suicide epidemic. Six youth suicides in the past three months; 140 people attempting or threatening to kill themselves in a recent two-week period; more than 100 kids on suicide watch. And it’s not just the youth, but adults too. It IS an epidemic.

Here in Ottawa, hopelessness seems to be the dominant feeling too.  I see an average of 45 youth each week and our outreach teams make contact with another 45 youth each week.

This past weekend, I got a total of 4 crisis calls from suicidal youth.

The MotherLove project has been a tremendous movement involving media and corporate support. I don’t know the numbers yet, but they are raising a LOT of money!  What an amazing thing accomplished by local women and business owners.   I’ve asked our youth if they would like to give to the youth of Cree Nation and a lot have stepped up with whatever they can. So far we have raised $200 but a lot more of our youth are just concerned with surviving and helping their friends at home who are suffering. With this post I just wanted to remind people that there is a mental health problem happening right here in our own backyard. In fact it is happening all over the country. Hopefully, through the great efforts being done by the Motherlove project this will open up a bigger dialogue about the mental state of at-risk youth in our city and throughout the country. Innercity Arts is starting to look at where we can better serve our youth concerning their mental health. If this is something that concerns your hearts and you want to give somehow, please think about joining us at our annual art show. This is an opportunity to give directly to youth in your city, to meet them and encourage them.

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