The Importance of SafeTALK

Holiday Season may be a happy time for some, but for others it is a difficult time. It is important to keep those we love close and to tell them how much they mean to us. In the spirit of the holidays, we have to remember that this time of year is not entirely about material things. We live in the Yukon and, have one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

This year, has been a tough one for me. I’ve had many family members pass away. I have also had the people I love think about suicide and other loved ones that have had to experience the after-effects of a community member suiciding. I wanted to be able to help the people in my community recognize the signs of suicide and how to help after you know a person is thinking about suicide. SafeTALK was something I’ve been wanting to be certified for since I started with BYTE- Empowering Youth earlier this year. The training became available in October. I successfully applied for and was able to get a Rising Youth grant to attend this training.

At the beginning of December, I was able to facilitate my first safeTALK workshop. It went well and I believe that the participants got the information they wanted. I am hopeful that I will be able to run more of these workshops in the future. I want my community to become a safer community.

This training is offered to people who want to learn more about how to spot signs of a person who is having thoughts of suicide. The training strives to make the attendees more comfortable asking about suicide. This training can be offered to people as young as 15.

If this kind of workshop is something that you are looking for your organization, please feel free to contact me through my BYTE email –

How to Keep Safe for the Holiday Season

YAY!!! It is the time to celebrate and make all those New Year’s resolutions. It is one of the happiest times of the year and also a time of year where, unfortunately incidents happen.

When we go out to our holiday parties and get-togethers, there is a chance there will be alcohol involved. It is important to remember to space out your drinks and to stay hydrated by also drinking water in between drinks. Another obvious but overlooked tip at these events since there will probably be food is simple: eat food. Plus, holiday food is so delicious so get that food baby.

If you do plan to celebrate with some spirits and I’m not talking about the Ghost of Christmas Past, bring a friend with you. Make sure that you trust this friend to stay with you throughout the night. Plan to know how you are getting home afterwards. Even if you live close by, start walking before you are too intoxicated and take your friend with you.

Even though we start going back into the light with longer days from December, 21st, onwards, the darkness still takes up most of the day. I understand that not everyone has a vehicle, so when you are out and about stay in better lit areas. Make sure that you make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road. On the other side of the steering wheel, make sure you have your headlights on while driving all throughout the winter not just at the darkest of times. Drive slow and keep an eye out for pedestrians.

So I hope all have a great holiday season and keep safe. Happy New Year