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Event celebrates life and bringing people together

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On Saturday the Hope North Suicide Prevention Day took place at the OCN Abor Site where awareness on suicide and suicide prevention was raised along with a number of games for children such as a bouncy house and rock painting among other activities.
Hope North was also helped out by a number of other organizations such as Beatrice Wilson Health Centre, Opaskwayak Health Authority and The Pas Renewal Community Corporation among other organizations.
Normally this event takes place as a walk each year but Hope North decided to do something different this year.
“A lot of times we’ll do a walk so that’s been really well-attended. This year we changed our focus a little bit, we thought we would do a family celebration, rock painting, t-shirt painting, a bouncy house; just make (it) really welcoming for families to come and celebrate. We want suicide awareness and prevention to be very positive with activities and events,” said Shelly Verville, Chairperson for the Hope North Committee.
She hopes it serves as a positive way to bring about the issue and to get people talking with one another.
“We’re always trying to promote life and that is our goal, of course it’s always a very difficult loss for families and friends and so on (in the event of suicide). This we hope provides an event where people can get together and connect with one another, do some fun activities and be close as a community with The Pas and OCN,” Verville said.
Attending the event were also a number of local dignitaries including Reeve Rod Berezowecki of the RM of Kelsey, and Onekanew of Opaskwayak Cree Nation Christian Sinclair among others.
“It’s always nice to have people come and acknowledge today’s date and why we’re here,” she added.
There was also a barbeque in the middle of the event with hot dogs and burgers being served to the public. They were happy to people from both sides of the river coming together as part of this event.
“I think this work is always so much better when people come together, when different communities, different agencies, different people - I always feel encouraged when different people come out,” said Verville.
There was much to talk about in regards to suicide prevention and celebrating life during the Hope North Suicide Prevention Day.

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Trevor Wright
REPORTER
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