Understanding that fostering protective factors and reducing risk factors will ultimately reduce youth suicide attempts and self-harm, the purpose of the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum is to promote resilience and instill hope amongst First Nations youth.
The curriculum consists of 24 one-hour classroom sessions. The program is experiential and includes detailed guidelines for teachers as well as all required materials for in-class activities such as group discussions, quizzes, games, and other projects that provide opportunities for each youth participant to journal their journey of resilience and wellbeing. In addition to student activities, each session includes
learning materials that relate to the session’s topic. Learning materials include stories, interactive videos and activities, pictures, informational handouts, mass-media references, and Internet resources. The curriculum connects culture with content related to resilient-rich choice-making that is applicable across the distinct First Nations in Canada.
Some overarching cultural values presented throughout the material include conceptualization of community, self-reliance and actualization, and connection with the land and to nature. Framed in highly creative, stimulating, and interactive ways, the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum has the capacity to build resilience by being responsive, engaging, and applicable to the worldview of participating First Nation's youth.
Although the materials are directed at classroom teachers, other professional service providers are welcome to consider the application of this curriculum on behalf of First Nations youth at risk.
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