Sheshatshiu teen using ball hockey to advocate for mental health

A 14-year-old from the Labrador community has developed an action plan after taking part in a national workshop.
Cyrus Nuna, right, and RCMP Cst. Dan Sharpe at the workshop in Regina. (RCMP)

A 14-year-old from Sheshatshiu has brought back some big ideas to his community, after taking part in a national workshop for indigenous youth advocates in Saskatchewan.

Cyrus Nuna was one of 16 young people from across the country, and the only one from Newfoundland and Labrador, to attend the RCMP's Youth Leadership Workshop at its training academy in Regina.

"It was awesome," Nuna told The St. John's Morning Show.

"It's a great opportunity for the youth. They spent the week coming up with action plans to address individual issues in their communities," added RCMP Cst. Dan Sharpe of the Sheshatshiu detachment, who went along on the trip.

Ideas into action

Nuna spent the workshop focusing on creating an action plan to address youth suicide and mental health in Sheshatshiu, centring his ideas around physical fitness.

A Mountie mascot greets Nuna and Sharpe as they arrive in the Regina airport. (RCMP)

In the hopes of one day establishing a fitness centre in the community, Nuna will take the first steps by organizing a ball hockey tournament for mental health.

"We'll try to invite teens from all across Labrador to participate in the tournament, to spread awareness," said Nuna.

"It would help, because I think everyone would enjoy playing a big tournament together, and helping build confidence."

"From working in the community for over a year now, I have noticed quite a lot of talented athletes within the community. Usually there's a great turnout at all the different sporting events," said Cst. Sharpe.

Nuna and Sharpe will now approach community leaders and fundraising sources, such as Bell Let's Talk, to make it a reality.