Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Saskatchewan’s children’s advocate says wait times for youth mental-health services in the province are unacceptable.

Corey O’Soup says young people shouldn’t have to wait for up to two years to see a psychiatrist.

“The wait times for mental-health services experienced by children in this province are shameful,” O’Soup said Tuesday as he released his annual report.

Story continues below advertisement

“Those are the children that end up in our reports. Those are the children that we want to stop from dying.”

O’Soup’s report says 19 children died in the province’s care last year and 47 were critically injured.

Two of the deaths were suicides and 11 young people were injured in suicide attempts. First Nations and Metis youth accounted for 79 per cent of deaths and 65 per cent of those injured.

Suicide rates in northern Saskatchewan communities are high. Indigenous boys between 10 and 19 are six times more likely to die from suicide while Indigenous girls of the same age are 26 times more likely to take their own lives.

“The suicide rates aren’t going any lower. The 811 number will work for a few kids here and there, but obviously it’s not working for everybody, right?” O’Soup said, referencing the number for the province’s health line. “We need to do more.”

O’Soup wants to see the province bring in a mental-health program similar to Alberta, where services are incorporated into schools. Alberta’s model includes mental-health promotion and prevention, and tries to make support more accessible.

O’Soup said 182 schools, along with 74 additional partner schools, use the approach in Alberta.

Story continues below advertisement

He said it has the potential to make a big difference in Saskatchewan.

“If we can take that, adapt it, make it Saskatchewan’s own, I think that can have a huge impact on the mental health of our students.”

Greg Ottenbreit, minister responsible for rural and remote health, said Saskatchewan has already set aside money in the budget for a pilot project based on the Alberta model.

Hopefully it will allow a mental-health worker to build a relationship with a child over time, he said.

“And then when the child does come into crisis, possibly they’ve got that relationship and that trust that the child would go to that person without a whole lot of barriers for support.”

Opposition NDP critic Trent Wotherspoon said mental-health services offered to youth now are “utterly shameful,” but the Alberta model holds promise.

Story continues below advertisement

O’Soup also said his office is focused on improving graduation rates for Indigenous children. The current rate is 43.2 per cent compared with 85.4 per cent for non-Indigenous children.

“This is unacceptable and we must do something about it. And I believe that our office needs to be part of the solution moving forward.”

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies