Aboriginal Teen Suicide Prevention

Love my Life t-shirt is to remember all those who have taken their life by suicide. The Haida design is of an eagle and a raven inside of a heart. Allan Weir is the Haida artist who did the magnificent design. Allan and I unfortunately have had our own cousins take their life in Haida Gwaii and this shirt is to remember them.

The purpose of this shirt is to reach out to the youth specifically the Aboriginal youth to prevent suicide. The websites provided on the shirt allow youth to read about mental health issues themselves. Mincheck.ca allows youth to fill out a questionnaire that will tell them more about how they feel and if it is necessary to contact a mental health professional in their local community or call the number provided on the website. Please check out www.mindcheck.ca for more information on filling out the questionnaire.

Remember suicide is 100% preventable and depression is a common complaint that I have seen in the emergency room and family practice setting. There is hope out there and different treatments available. A great elder once told me, Honour your life and Esteem others better then yourself. I wanted to leave the same message with you to Honour your Life and get help if you need it.

You have a purpose for your life and you are not an accident. You are an original. When the Creator made you He threw away the mold so that there would only be one of you in this world. The Creator has great things planned for your life! Never let anyone’s opinion of you determine what you will do with your life. Be proud of who you are. If you’re Aboriginal be even more proud of who you are and know that you are intelligent and capable of doing anything with your life!

“Look up hold your head high……be proud of who you are!” I put this on the bottom of the shirt and made the letters upside down so the person who is wearing the shirt will be able to read it as reminder to be proud of who they are. They will have what is called a positive affirmation about themselves. I have seen many youth looking down and not making eye contact with me when I shake their hand. I just wanted to remind them and you to look up and be proud of where you come from. You are going to do great things for your community.

Stay blessed! Love my Life!

Peter Eppinga M.D.