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First Nations and Inuit Health

Mental Health and Wellness

Support for First Nations impacted by Alberta Wildfires

Mental health workers are on site in impacted communities and at several evacuation reception centres to provide safe, confidential, respectful, and non-judgmental support.

These workers are identifiable by red vests, and people are encouraged to seek support from these workers if they are in need of culturally appropriate assistance.

Former Indian Residential Schools (IRS) survivors and their families who experience strong emotions in the aftermath of the Alberta wildfires are encouraged to call the toll free National IRS Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) for culturally appropriate emotional and crisis referral services, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

totem Mental health and wellness encompass both the mental and emotional aspects of being - how you think and feel. Some signs of good mental health include:

  • Knowing and taking pride in who you are;
  • Enjoying life;
  • Being able to form and maintain satisfying relationships;
  • Coping with stress in a positive way;
  • Striving to realize your potential; and
  • Having a sense of personal control.

If you or somebody you know feels depressed and needs help, contact the First Nations and Inuit Health Regional Office. They can help put you in touch with someone to talk to.

Factors Influencing Mental Health

So many factors can influence your health, including your mental health. These factors are commonly known as the Next link will take you to another Web site determinants of health and include such things as how much money you make, how much education you have and your relationships with family and friends. For instance, supportive relationships with family and friends can make you feel cared for, loved, esteemed and valued, and as a result, have a protective effect on your health. (World Health Organization, 2003)

Historical determinants, such as the legacy of residential schools, are believed to have shaped the mental health of Aboriginal people. A research project commissioned by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation found that 75 percent of the case files for a sample of Aboriginal residential school survivors contained mental health information with the most common mental health diagnoses being post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorder and major depression. (Research Series, 2003)

Programs and Services

Health Canada is committed to assisting First Nations and Inuit communities to achieve better health with several mental health-related programs and services:

Resources and Links

Some of the hyperlinks provided are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Next link will take you to another Web site Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) used by the sites in question.

Check out our resources and links for more information on:

Mental Health and Wellness

Suicide Prevention

Program Design