FAST - First Nation Action & Support Team

FAST - Serving the First Nations of Gitxsan, Nisga'a, Wet'suweten, and Tsimshian

The mission statement for FAST is...

"Embracing life through suicide awareness and community empowerment"

The FAST members already have and/or will receive training in suicide awareness, suicide intervention, grief & loss, community mobilization, crisis response, self-care, critical incident stress management, trauma training, and debriefing. As we progress, more training may be identified and implemented.

Training Communities: The FAST members will then train communities who are ready to receive the training. In so doing, empowering the communities in suicide awareness, suicide intervention plus all other training already received by the FAST members.

Crisis Response: FAST can also respond to a crisis in a community after a crisis has happened to help stabilize, support and/or find resources required to ensure assistance for anyone who has been affected by the crisis.

MYTHS ABOUT SUICIDE

  • "It can't happen to my child."
  • Talking about suicide intent will lead to suicide.
  • Suicide attempt is a manipulative behaviour and therefore should be punished.
  • Suicide occurs only in lower socio-economic groups.
  • Suicides come out of the blue with little or no warning.
  • Teenagers will "learn" from their "mistakes" and they won't try again.
  • Depression and other mental disorders to not occur in young people.

FACTS ABOUT SUICIDE

  • Suicide rate in young people is increasing.
  • Suicide is uncommon in children under the age of 10.
  • There are many more attempted suicides than completed suicides.
  • Between 60-80% of youth have sought help within the previous month before the suicide.
  • There is an increased risk if the youth has a previous history of attempted suicide.
  • Many completed suicides are well planned.

RISK FACTORS

  • Problems with school or the law.
  • Break-up of romance.
  • Unexpected pregnancy.
  • A stressful family life (having parents who are depressed or are substance abusers, or a family history of suicide).
  • Loss of security... fear of authority, peers, group or gang members.
  • Stress due to new situations; college or relocating to a new community.
  • Failing in school or failing to pass an important test.
  • Seriously injuring another person or causing another person's death (example, automobile accident).
  • Major loss of a loved one, divorce in the family, a trauma.

WARNING SIGNS 

  • Abrupt changes in personality.
  • Giving away possessions.
  • Previous suicide attempt.
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Change in eating pattern.
  • Significant weight change.
  • Insomnia/oversleeping.
  • Unwillingness/inability to communicate.
  • Depression.
  • Extreme or extended boredom.
  • Accident prone (carelessness).
  • Unusual sadness, loneliness, talk of wanting to die.
  • Neglect of work/appearance.
  • Rebelliousness.
  • Reckless behaviour.
  • Chronic pain, panic or anxiety.

SUICIDE IS NOT ABOUT DYING. IT IS ABOUT STOPPING THE PAIN AND HOPELESSNESS.

YOU CAN HELP...

  • Stay calm and listen
  • Let them talk about their feelings
  • Be accepting - do not judge
  • Ask if they have suicidal thoughts
  • Take threats seriously
  • Don't swear secrecy - tell someone

CONTACT: Family, friends, relatives, clergy, teachers, counsellors, doctors, crisis lines, mental health services, hospital emergency department or RCMP

YOUR FAST MEMBERS IN THE NASS VALLEY:

  • Lydia Stephens, Laxgalts'ap
  • Don Leeson, Gingolx
  • Jacquie Adams, New Aiyansh
  • Lorna Azak, Gitwinksihlkw

For more information, please contact the Program Director, Sandra (Wesley) Olson at (250) 842-5165, local 298, or email manager@ gitxsan.net

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS...CHANGE YOUR WORLD.