Friends, family gather in Wascana Park to remember Samwel Uko

·1 min read
Samwel Uko was an athlete with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies after graduating high school in Abbotsford, B.C.  (Samwel Uko/Facebook - image credit)
Samwel Uko was an athlete with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies after graduating high school in Abbotsford, B.C. (Samwel Uko/Facebook - image credit)

A small group of family, friends and supporters gathered Friday in Regina's Wascana Park to honour the life of Samwel Uko.

Uko, 20, died by suicide a year ago. His body was found in Wascana Lake May 21, 2020.

He had sought help twice at the Regina General Hospital while in the throes of a mental health crisis, but was turned away by staff.

"We are gathered here today with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that such a young soul was taken so early," one attendee at Friday's memorial said in prayer.

"Oh, I love you. God bless you. Rest in peace and I'll see you again.… You'll get justice. I'll never, ever give up for you. You're my blood," a family member said.

Uko's family announced in October of last year that they planned to sue the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Premier Scott Moe has also said the coroner's service will conduct a public inquest into Uko's death.

Uko, who was originally from what is now South Sudan, came to Canada with his family as a refugee in 2005.

He started playing football soon after his arrival in his new home in B.C., and the sport became his passion. He played for a season with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

At the time of his death, he was visiting family in Regina.

If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available.

For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911.

You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line toll-free, 24/7 by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645, or chatting online.

You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.

You can also text CONNECT to 686868 and get immediate support from a crisis responder through the Crisis Text Line, powered by Kids Help Phone.

Kids Help Phone can also be reached at 1-800-668-6868, or you can access live chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting