Yukon organization expands support for youth in Northern communities

Whitehorse, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

As a recipient of a 2018 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant, the Yukon-based BYTE: Empowering Youth has expanded their suicide awareness initiative to youth in 7 communities throughout Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The organization’s Suicide Safer Communities program provides safeTALK or suicideTALK certification training to youth ages 15 to 24 in Northern communities. The training empowers youth to better identify those in their community who may be at risk and to be able to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to community resources for further help.

safeTALK training has been delivered to 10 community members from Dawson City, Old Crow, Teslin and Whitehorse, enabling them to deliver the workshops in their communities. To date, trainers have delivered 3 safeTALK workshops to 21 participants who include youth, youth workers, Elders and adults. Workshops have benefited communities in Carmacks, Dawson City, Inuvik, Old Crow and Tsiigehtchic.

The project will continue to support new trainers as they complete the full certification process, delivering 3 workshops to receive full certification, and will continue to deliver safeTALK and suicideTALK workshops in more communities.

Since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has provided $11 million to 657 organizations from around Canada, enabling them to improve access to mental health care, supports and services for people living with mental health issues.

To read more about BYTE: Empowering Youth please visit www.yukonyouth.com/

Photo by Nate Jones ©