Saskatoon woman sending letters of hope to northern Sask. during suicide crisis

Saskatoon woman sending letters of hope to northern Sask. during suicide crisis
WATCH ABOVE: The suicide crisis in northern Saskatchewan has had far-reaching effects. As Joel Senick reports, one Saskatoon mother is sending words of strength and encouragement in the form of a letter campaign.

A Saskatoon woman plans to send hundreds of letters filled with words of hope and support Monday to northern Saskatchewan where young girls have recently committed suicide.

“I wanted these kids to know that their lives are worth something, that they are worth something and that there’s hope,” said Fran Forsberg in an interview Sunday at Grosvenor Park United Church.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s new children’s advocate making suicide crisis his top priority

At the end of its service Sunday, she collected notes that members of the congregation had written.

Forsberg said she was upset and disturbed after six girls committed suicide in a number of northern communities in October. She decided to coordinate a letter writing campaign and the idea snowballed.

“Kitchener, Ont., has a class that is doing it, there’s somebody in Toronto, there’s schools, classrooms here in Saskatoon and in Regina, girl guides have offered to send letters,” Forsberg said.

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“We’re all connected and I think people are starting to understand that a little bit more.”

Some of the letters will likely end up in the hands of Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson. Last week, she received a number of handwritten cards from school children in B.C. and said messages of support have poured in through a number of mediums.

“During this really, really difficult time in our community it means a lot to us and we’re really grateful for the support that we’re receiving,” Cook-Searson said in an interview with Global News on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Candle light vigil held in La Ronge after sixth youth suicide in northern Sask.

One of the authors providing support through Forsberg’s initiative is her daughter Krista. She said she wanted to convey to those affected that there are people looking out for them.

“I hope that you know that you are never alone as we stand with you through these tough times,” Krista, 13, wrote in one of her letters.

“It’s just so sad to see that these teenagers harmed themselves,” she said in separate interview.

The elder Forsberg said she plans to collect letters for the rest of November and encouraged people to drop them off at the church or contact her on social media.

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“This is something tangible we could do,” Forsberg said.

“To have a letter for each child, at least one letter for each child in the communities that are suffering right now.”