An isolated community has declared a state of emergency after its third child suicide this year. Jolynn Winter, Chantel Fox and Jenera Roundsky, all 12, have taken their own lives since January. They are believed to be part of a suicide pact that began last summer.
Jenera died last week after being discovered at a hockey rink in the impoverished rural community of Wapekeka in Canada. The reserve, populated by members of Canada’s aboriginal community, is home to just 2,000 people – and 40 of its youngsters are believed to be at risk of suicide.
Jolynn and Chantel both committed suicide within two days of each other in January. Chief Brennan Sainnawap declared a state of emergency to combat the suicide crisis. Wapekeka band manager Joshua Frogg told CBC after Jenera’s suicide last week: “There was no plan of care, there was no safety plan for her. We’ve been in crisis since January. Today we’re in shock, in mourning. It’s just very, very sad.”