Editor’s note: This article mentions and discusses suicide and depression.
Popular TikToker Shina Novalinga, aka Shina Nova, has opened up about her battle with depression and how it led to a recent suicide attempt.
The Inuk content creator, who’s known for amplifying Inuit representation in the media, posted a vulnerable Instagram photo of herself on a hospital bed on Thursday.
“On November 1st of this year, I’ve attempted to end my life,” reads the caption.
“I have been and I am still suffering with my mental illness. I want to share my story with you because I know deep down I’m not alone. I am tired of putting this image every day when in reality, I am battling with depression.”
She added that she’s grateful for her family and friends and to be given another chance.
“I know I can get better, I know we can get out of this,” wrote Novalinga. “Time off is needed. Thank you for being by my side ❤️”
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The social media star from Montreal went viral after posting traditional throat-singing videos of her and her mom.
“For many years, us Indigenous peoples weren’t allowed to throat sing,” the caption of one of her highest-viewed TikToks reads. “We almost lost this tradition, but today we are strong and we throat sing for those who couldn’t.”
@shinanova We are still here and we are stronger than ever ✊🏼 #indigenous #throatsinging #inuit #culture #tradition @kayuulanova ♬ original sound – Shina Nova
Since joining the video-sharing platform in June 2020 under the handle @shinanova, Novalinga has amassed 4.1 million followers by using TikTok as a conduit for cross-cultural education.
She’s spoken out against Canada’s residential school system, shared with followers how her family eats raw caribou meat and beluga whale, and even taken people along on her journey to getting her first traditional face tattoo.
@shinanova Journey of getting my first tattoo 😊#tunniit #culture #traditional #inuit #tattoo @heyzorgzilla @kayuulanova ♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason
Messages of love and support have been pouring in from her friends and fans.
“Sending you love and strength. Remember you are a beautiful soul and you’re not alone ❤️❤️❤️,” commented Cree Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Ashley Callingbull.
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“You are so full of light and bring SO MUCH to the world,” replied American singer Jojo.
“Holding you in my heart and will be thinking of you extra hard sending you LOVE and healing. I’m so sorry you’re struggling. You’re not alone. I’m so very glad you’re still here.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts, please use the following resources: