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Calling All Youth Changemakers!

Youth-Changemakers-Callout.jpg 

​​Are you 16-25 years old?  
Do you enjoy travelling, meeting new people, and learning new skills?  
Do you want to make a positive difference in your community and amongst your peers?  Have you been personally affected by suicide? 
If this sounds like you or someone you know…Keep reading!

YOU COULD BE A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE BC YOUTH LEADING YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR LIFE PROMOTION

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), in partnership with Fraser Health Authority (FHA) and the Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement (CFHI), is calling out to all Indigenous youth in British Columbia who are doing amazing work to make positive Life Promotion (also known as Suicide Prevention) Leadership changes in their communities.

The Youth Leading Youth Advisory Committee for Life Promotion will be comprised of: 

• Two (2) Youth (one male & one female) from each of BC's 5 Health Regions

• Two (2) AFN (Assembly of First Nations) Youth Representatives

• One (1) Youth from each of BC's 8 largest Urban Centres (Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna/Kamloops, Nanaimo, Abbotsford/Chilliwack, Surrey, Prince George, Vernon)

• Two Elders (one male & one female)

•​ Project Coordinators/Supports from the First Nations Health Authority

 The first Gathering will take place March 3-4, 2018. 

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BACKGROUND

The CFHI recently formed the Suicide Prevention/Life Promotion collaborative, which brings together multi-disciplinary teams from across northern, rural and remote parts of Canada looking to address suicide prevention/life promotion using a shared learning approach. FNHA and FHA have submitted a joint proposal and secured funding from CFHI to participate in this collaborative work. 

First Nations in BC are facing increasingly complex challenges with suicide and suicide ideation. We are looking to our youth to lead collaboratively to restore community resiliency and capacity to care for one another. Suicide prevention/life promotion has been identified as a priority in all five FNHA health regions in BC, as determined at the Mental Wellness and Substance Use (MWSU) Forums hosted by FNHA in partnership with Regional Health Authorities. For example, a "Call to Action on Suicide" resulted from the MWSU Forum in the Fraser-Salish Region. In addition, the recent BC Coroners service and FNHA Death Review Panel report (2017) made several recommendations, the first of which was to:  bring the youth together to increase connectedness, wellness, safety, and resilience in their communities.

It is our collective professional experience that the most effective and successful programs for youth are those that are designed by, and led by, youth themselves.  As such, our vision for this collaborative project is to have youth steer the process as we provide the platform for engagement. The youth will work as a team to share their stories, identify what their priorities are, generate ideas, choose a good path, and decide what actions they will take to build resiliency and life promoting capacity within their communities. Our role will be to provide the tools and support they will need for success. A broader goal of this project is to support BC youth to be involved in Life Promotion not just locally/provincially but also nationally and internationally.

By embarking on a new journey forward (100% youth led), we are recognizing and empowering our future leaders through an exciting approach for youth to take action, which will be supported in subsequent phases of this 3-year project so that momentum is not lost.  

WHAT DOES PARTICIPATING IN THE YOUTH LEADING YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR LIFE PROMOTION ENTAIL?

  1. By embarking on this new journey forward with FNHA as a Youth Leading Youth Advisory Committee for Life Promotion member, you will be empowered to be our future leaders in Life Promotion through an exciting approach for you to take action;  
  2. You will work as a team and take ownership of this project to share your stories, identify what youth priorities are, generate ideas, choose a good path, and decide what actions you will take to build resiliency and life promoting capacity within your communities;
  3. Together, you will create a Terms of Reference document for the Youth Leading Youth Advisory Committee for Life Promotion, to establish roles and responsibilities of members, a succession and sustainability plan for the project, and a process for ensuring all Committee members have an equal voice at the table; 
  4. You will have an opportunity to be involved in Life Promotion/Suicide Prevention initiatives not just locally/provincially but also nationally and internationally;
  5. You will learn new skills related to Life Promotion, Leadership, Teamwork, Committee Participation, and Project Management, including Planning, Implementation and Evaluation;
  6. You will inspire other youth to bring hope and positivity to their community;
  7. You will enjoy a sense of purpose and belonging;
  8. You will develop potentially lifelong friendships with peers in many other communities in BC, increasing your own personal support network;
  9. As a founding member, you will have the opportunity to "pass the feather" to a new group of youth, as you move into adulthood.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Indigenous Youth ages 16-25 who:

• Live in British Colu​mbia

• Have demonstrated leadership skills in their school or community

• Are motivated to be agents of positive change in their community and amongst their peers

• Have "lived experience" with suicide

• Can commit to regular participation in this project for the next 3 years (until March 31st, 2020), including annual in-person meetings and quarterly teleconferences

• Are willing and able to travel provincially and nationally for collaborative work and training opportunities (travel expenses will be covered)

•​ Have a Teacher/Chief/Council member/Elder or other community leader who will nominate them for this important role as a youth leader, and provide a reference letter, if possible, to support their participation on the Youth Leading Youth Advisory Committee for Life Promotion

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Both the completed applic​ation form and the reference letter must be received by 4:00pm on Friday, February 16th, 2018.​ Accepted applicants will be notified by phone or email on or before Wednesday, February 23rd, 2018.​

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