December 8, 2022 | Surrey, British Columbia | Public Health Agency of Canada
Many Indigenous Peoples struggle with mental health issues, and are more likely to face disproportionate challenges because of racism, discrimination, socio-economic status or social exclusion. They remain among the least likely to have access to adequate mental health services due to the legacy of colonization. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing these disparities and promoting positive mental health for all people in Canada.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced $2.25M in funding to Métis Nation British Columbia for their project to provide Métis community members with information and resources to improve mental health and well-being. In partnership with LivingWorks, this project will implement an evidence-based suicide prevention program to promote mental wellness and create a Network of Safety within Métis communities across British Columbia.
This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include youth, seniors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Black and other racialized people in Canada, front-line and other essential workers, and others whose mental health has been, and continues to be impacted by the pandemic.
“First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples deserve access to safe, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed mental health programs and supports, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on people across the country. Today’s announcement will work to help Métis Nation British Columbia implement their life-saving programs and help more people in their community access supports that connect with the land and traditional ways of being.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health
“It is evident that there is a dire need within the Métis community to greater support mental health and wellness – now more than ever since the pandemic began. Creating cultural safety/cultural wellness is just one of many steps needed to take place in our aim to create a Network of Safety.”
Dr. Kate Elliott, Minister of Mental Health and Harm Reduction
Métis Nation British Columbia
- One in three Canadians indicated their mental health got worse due to the pandemic.
- Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course.
- Mental health is very much interconnected with physical health, and central to overall health and well-being. For example, poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions, and vice versa. Positive mental health also has a bearing on people’s ability to cope with life’s challenges and stress, sense of belonging and feelings of being in control of their life.
- The Government of Canada is committed toward the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you are in need of support or if a loved one is struggling, the Hope for Wellness Helpline is available to all Indigenous people across Canada. Experienced and culturally competent counsellors are reachable by telephone and online ‘chat’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both telephone and online chat services are available in English and French. Telephone support is also available upon request in Cree, Ojibway, (Anishinaabemowin), and Inuktitut.
- You can also access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals.