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Opposition NDP concerned about suicide prevention programs in northern Sask.

The Opposition NDP says suicide calls to the Saskatchewan 811 emergency phone line are not always answered, government says it is trying to improve programs. Steve Silva / Global News

The Opposition NDP is raising concerns about suicide prevention programs in northern Saskatchewan where six indigenous girls have killed themselves this fall.

Opposition critic Buckley Belanger said the government promoted an 811 emergency phone line for suicide calls, but in the middle of the night there have been times when no one was available to answer them.

READ MORE: Premier Brad Wall visits northern Saskatchewan amid suicide crisis

In the legislature, Belanger asked the government how it can promote a plan that isn’t available when people desperately need it.

Greg Ottenbreit, minister of rural and remote health, says an alternative is available and the province is trying to improve the programs.

READ MORE: Mental health professionals focus on schools in northern Sask. suicide crisis

He said the government continues to train nurses and other health professionals to work in northern communities.

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