Cowichan Tribes declare emergency over rash of suicides, ask for help

Cowichan council member Chuck Seymour pauses for a moment during a news conference in the Cowichan First Nation at Duncan on Monday. The Cowichan Tribes declared a state of emergency due to the recent spike in suicides and suicide attempts in their community.

Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press , May 14, 2012

The Cowichan Tribes First Nations administration declared a local state of emergency Monday, following four incidences of suicide and 57 suicide threats since January, and now Chief Harvey Alphonse is calling for help from the provincial and federal governments.
The Cowichan Tribes — with 4,500 members, the largest aboriginal community in B.C. — have been deeply impacted by the suicides and their counselling staff are overwhelmed, Alphonse said.

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