Reconfirms commitment to increasing access to mental health and wellness supports for First Nations
February, 14, 2019 — Lac La Ronge, Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatchewan — Indigenous Services Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nations to improve access to health services and strengthen mental health and well-being supports for First Nations youth and their families.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, in partnership with Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the province, announced funding for a new wellness, healing and recovery centre that will enhance access to culturally safe mental wellness and recovery services and supports.
The federal government is funding $11.6 million, Saskatchewan has committed $2.5 million, and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, $2 million. Funding will be provided over three years, and allow for the development of a new health facility that will blend western and traditional Indigenous approaches to healing and recovery.
The Lac La Ronge Wellness, Healing and Recovery Centre will focus on wellness outreach and recovery services, as well as provide accommodation for 10 persons and a remote community program of mini-lodges that allow for individual stay/transition. Youth and their families will have full access to counselling services, including counsellors, mental health workers and traditional healing.
“Today’s announcement is an example of all levels of government and leadership working together to support First Nations health and improving mental health and well-being. I commend Chief and Council of Lac La Ronge Indian Band for their vision of this wellness, healing and recovery centre and for moving this project one major step closer to reality”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to improving the health and well-being of our residents. We are pleased to provide $2.5 million dollars in funding for capital costs specifically associated with the healing and recovery aspects of the proposed facility, which will include 10 addictions recovery beds.”
Honourable Greg Ottenbreit
Saskatchewan Minister of Rural and Remote Health
“With this funding support, I am pleased that our vision of securing a Wellness, Healing and Recovery Centre in northern Saskatchewan is closer to becoming a reality. This program and facility are the result of five years of extensive consultations with our membership and other community members from young children to our Elders who have asked for improved local and culturally sensitive health opportunities. It is a crucial solution to our need for better access to health and addiction services, and one that will be key in helping our communities in need to reach their full potential and, ultimately, achieve a better quality of life.”
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson
Lac La Ronge Indian Band
With a population of over 11,000 people, Lac La Ronge Indian Band is the largest First Nation in Saskatchewan, and is one the largest First Nations in Canada. This new facility will also be available to the all people living in the northern catchment area.
Over 50% of current First Nations population in northern Saskatchewan is under the age of 25 years and suicide in northern and remote communities is ten times as high as the national average.
Indigenous Services Canada supports 12 mental wellness teams in Saskatchewan which are designed by communities with a strong emphasis on enhancing cultural safety. These teams are also part of the broader network of supports that include treatment centres, tribal council and community crisis teams.
Individuals who are in distress and need help are also encouraged to call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. This is a national, toll-free, 24-7 culturally appropriate crisis intervention line. Counselling is available in English and French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktut.