The AFNQL highlights First Nations Wellness Day and Suicide Prevention Week

WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 1, 2018  – Today, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, draws attention to the seventh First Nations Wellness Day as well as the 28th edition of Suicide Prevention Week.

On February 1 of each year, the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) highlights First Nations Wellness Day, which was decided in 2011 by the Chiefs of the AFNQL. To honour the theme of the 2018 edition, “My wellness, it’s up to me and my community is actively involved!”, the FNQLHSSC is offering a revamped version of the wellness wheel as well as an interactive tool that suggests several activities fostering individual and collective wellness.

In parallel and under the theme “Talking About Suicide Saves Lives”, Suicide Prevention Week will also be in full swing across Quebec from February 4 to 10, 2018. For the occasion, the FNQLHSSC has produced a video entitled “On est là pour toi / We are here for you” aiming to engage First Nations and Inuit to increase their awareness regarding their role in suicide prevention.

“The overall wellness of the members of our nations is a decisive factor in improving our living conditions, which allows for ensuring a better future for our future generations. Closely related, these two events are therefore an opportunity for all First Nations to focus on their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, and to help each other. I encourage everyone to get involved, both individually and collectively, and to take action during these two events,” said Chief Ghislain Picard.

“Suicide and self-harm are the leading causes of death for First Nations. Simply put, our people are dying in ‘record’ numbers due to an entirely preventable cause. It is imperative that First Nation leaders, communities and our partners continue to bring emphasis on both suicide and mental wellness in general simply because this should not be happening in 2018, in Canada,” stated Derek Montour, President of the Board of Directors of the FNQLHSSC.

“I call on all Indigenous people and Canadians to assist each other in correcting this heartbreaking situation that occurs in our communities daily. The 28th edition of the Suicide Prevention Week is fast approaching, as well as the acknowledgement of February 1 as First Nations Wellness Day; this is a great time to ‘shout out’ that we are united in making a difference,” added Mr. Montour.

To access the tools produced for First Nations Wellness Day or to watch the video, please visit the FNQLHSSC website at

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is a political grouping of 43 First Nations Chiefs in Quebec and

About the FNQLHSSC
The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission supports First Nations and Inuit communities and agencies in Quebec and Labrador in defending, upholding and asserting the inherent right to health and social services while helping them plan and deliver culturally appropriate programs:

For further information: Alain Garon, AFNQL, Communications Advisor,, 418-254-4620; Waseskon Awashish, FNQLHSSC, Communications Advisor,, 418-842-1540, extension 2308


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