The atmosphere was solemn but hopeful as Cowichan Tribes gathered Tuesday to discuss how to prevent future suicides in the community. In the wake of four people taking their lives in recent weeks, Cowichan Tribes’ Chief Harvey Alphonse said they want to find a way to show youth there is a better choice.

“Our community has been impacted recently by the loss of our family members. And I sense the urgency to reach out to our entire community to assist with helping our youth, and giving a strong message that they should choose life over another course.”

According to the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the rate of suicide in the Cowichan Valley is 35 per cent higher than the average in British Columbia. Duncan Councillor Joe Thorne is hoping Tuesday’s forum, called “Circle of Light” would help explore the reasons behind the statistics…

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