A Path Forward Launched- Regional Planning Sessions in April
The First Nations Health Authority, BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and Metis Nation of BC are pleased to announce the release of A Path Forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten Year Plan.
This approach is the first of its kind designed in the province of BC to transform systems and improve capacity to better meet the needs of First Nations and Aboriginal infants, children, youth, adults and Elders. It was developed to address the need for a concentrated and coordinated effort in mobilizing resources, policy development, and the use of best practices to ensure First Nations and Aboriginal people in BC are served by effective, efficient, and empathic systems that honour the diversity of their customs, values, and beliefs.
This community-driven information provides a vision, guiding values, goals, and principles to support strategic directions and offers actions to guide planners over the next ten years. It aims to enable and complement existing and new actions within mental wellness and substance use initiatives that are already functioning as ‘promising practices’ within each respective region, First Nation, Aboriginal community or health authority.
Read the approach here.
Download the approach here: FNHA MWSU plan PDF (1.93 mb)
How did we get here?
In the creation of this approach, a number of community engagement techniques were used to gather information and compile data to develop the content found in the final document. Four reports were created to summarize this process and the information received in the input summary, peer review, priority setting and indicator analysis documents. As part of the process of reciprocal accountability, the First Nations Health Authority is returning this information to communities in the order they were completed. These documents are for information purposes only.
1. Summary Report of Input Request dated April 27, 2012 (Survey Monkey January 27, 2012 to February 27, 2012)
MWSU ISD pdf
2. Priority Setting Tool: FLUID Survey Feedback Summary Report (version dated September 16, 2012) – [Priority Setting Tool survey May 17, 2012 – August 31, 2012)
MWSU FLUID pdf
3. Peer Review Summary Report (Subject Matter Experts reviewed the Priority Setting Tool booklet and gave their feedback) (version dated September 16, 2012)
MWSU PRS pdf
4. Indicator Report (question was asked at the end of each Strategic Direction and Action: “By what measure or benchmark will we know that the SDs and Actions have been achieved?”) (version dated October 18, 2012)
MWSU IFRl pdf
5. MWSU Engagement Pathway
Engagement Pathway PDF
Engagement Pathway graphic:
View in a PDF version here
We want to know what you think of these documents by taking this short survey:
Feedback on the Process
Putting the Plan into Action – 2 Steps
1. Regional Video-Conferences:
The FNHA will be organizing 5 regional video-conference planning sessions this April. At these planning sessions we will invite those involved in the area of First Nations and Aboriginal Mental Wellness and Substance Use to set goals and outcomes for 5 regional implementation forums to take place in May/June.
Those involved in First Nations and Aboriginal Mental Wellness and Substance Use would most benefit from attending the video-conferences. This would include front line workers, health directors, mental wellness and substance use counselors, and others involved in MWSU
April 15 - Vancouver Island
April 18 - Fraser
April 24 - Vancouver Coastal
April 25 - Interior
April 29 - Northern
All sessions will be three hours long from 12pm – 3pm.
In terms of content, we are hoping to gather and discuss community-identified goals for the regional forums, invites for who should attend, and other issues to bring to the discussion. Our focus will be: what do communities want to get out of the regional forums?
We are collaborating with the Aboriginal Learning Circle at UBC and will be using Adobe Connect. Participants will be able to join this session via laptops equipped with microphones, via video-conferencing equipment, or via dialing in, expanding our reach and improving participation from some of our more rural and remote communities.
Register for the regional videoconferencing:
Telephone: (604) 682-2344 ex. 62242
2. Regional Implementation Forums:
The 5 regional implementation forums are an opportunity for regions, partners, and communities to come together and begin building relationships, developing accountability frameworks, and implementing the Mental Wellness and Substance Use Strategic Approach as decided by communities. The agenda and dates of the regional forums will be decided during and finalized following the regional video-conferencing. The regional forums will likely be held in May/June.
For more information on these sessions please contact Blake Stitilis:
Priority Setting: A Future for First Nations and Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten-Year Plan
This Priority-Setting Tool is intended to be utilized by the Tripartite Partners (Federal Government, Provincial Government, the interim First Nations Health Authority and Aboriginal partners) to engage with our respective members, stakeholders and systems. The Vision, Goals, Strategic Directions and Actions proposed in this Priority-Setting Tool have been developed through input from First Nations and Aboriginal people through forums, reports, input requests, accumulated data and the Tripartite process.
The purpose of this Priority-Setting Tool is to collectively affirm the proposed Vision Statement, Goals, and Strategic Directions, Actions and finally, to gather any further feedback as part of the overall engagement process. The affirmations, and feedback we elicit through this Priority Setting Tool will shape the development of a First Nations and Aboriginal Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten-Year Plan (the “Plan”). Priority-Setting: an opportunity for further involvement This exercise of priority setting provides an opportunity for those involved in the area of mental wellness and substance use to:
• work together to build upon existing resources and strengths;
• identify common areas of focus; and
• collaboratively transform the system to improve the health status of First Nations and Aboriginal people.
Click here to fill-out the MWSU Priority Setting Survey Online.
Deadline to fill-out survey: August 31, 2012
Updated on May 16, 2012
Summary of Community & Stakeholder Input Survey for First Nations and Aboriginal Mental Wellness and Substance Use
Tripartite Strategy Council on Mental Wellness and Substance Use (April 27, 2012)
The Tripartite Strategy Council on Mental Wellness and Substance Use initiated an effort to gather feedback from communities and stakeholders on perceptions around mental wellness and substance use and related service approaches.
There was a very positive response to the survey with three hundred and sixty (N=360) respondents providing their input.
Respondents provided comprehensive input to the survey questions. his report is intended to provide a baseline summary of responses from the Input Request.
PDF Download | MWSU_Input_Summary_Document_Final.pdf
Click here to fill-out the MWSU Priority Setting Survey.
Deadline: August 31, 2012
Updated on January 27, 2012
Understanding the Path Forward: First Nations/Aboriginal Mental Wellness
and Substance Use: Tri-partite Strategy Council on Mental Wellness and Substance Use
The Tripartite partners as represented by the interim First Nations Health Authority, the Provincial Government of BC and Health Canada are committed to working together and recognize the on-going work by First Nations/Aboriginal communities in mental wellness and substance use planning. A process of collecting wisdom, advice and guidance began through previous forums, meetings and regional caucus sessions hosted by the interim First Nations Health Authority(iFNHA) between 2007 – 2011. We would like to ask for your assistance further in providing focused input through our online questionnaire which will help us identify collective solutions by focusing our energies individually at communities and for service providers.All interested and willing persons wanting to provide input are welcome to participate.
Your input will help inform the development of a document that will summarize themed key concepts, strategies and solutions to improve First Nations/Aboriginal mental wellness and address substance use challenges in BC. The summary document will help shape the development of a draft First Nations/ Aboriginal Mental Wellness and Substance Use Plan. Your input is important to us. Building on a wealth of knowledge and expertise from individuals, communities and service providers, your help will assist the tripartite partners understand how to support initiatives over the coming years to ensure efforts around mental wellness and substance use are effective and successful. All submitted input will be anonymous and summarized for all of BC and by each Health Authority region.
Download Input Request Information Document | MWSU_Input_Request_Jan_27_final.pdf
Deadline to receive completed surveys: Monday, February 27, 2012 (4:00 PM, PST)
Mental Wellness is the balance between the social, physical, spiritual and emotional life of a First Nation’s person.
Mental Wellness is far more than the absence of mental illness and has to do with all aspects of a person’s life. Many factors have contributed to high levels of substance misuse and suicide and to other mental health issues within the First Nations population; not surprisingly, these factors include, colonization and assimilation, systemic discrimination, loss of tradition, language and culture, residential schooling, and child apprehension.
While there are some mental health services and practical measures in place for First Nations, there still exists significant gaps in services and inequitable access for communities when it comes to mental health and substance misuse.
Based on community feedback*, these are the key issues and challenges that BC First Nations encounter with regard to Mental Health & Wellness in their communities:
- Suicide (youth suicide is of particular concern for First Nations communities);
- Drug & Alcohol misuse;
- Lack of cultural competency among service providers to address mental health and substance misuse issues;
- Lack of treatment facilities, and particularly a lack of treatment facilities that are inclusive of families;
- Provincial and federal policies and regulations that limit access/use of mental health and addiction programs and services;
- Lack of programs and services for pregnant woman with substance misuse issues;
- Access to culturally appropriate programs and services for First Nations that live in rural and remote communities;
- Lack of programs, services, and resources to address the impacts of relationship/family violence;
- Lack of youth, peer, and community support in times of crisis;
- Counselling and crisis intervention services that are inadequate and restrictive;
- Homelessness; and,
- Lack of human resources in FN communities for mental health and substance misuse issues .
Based on the information provided by First Nations, the following recommendations are deemed a priority for further work in the area of Mental Health and Wellness:
- Ensure that mental health and wellness is a core component of all First Nations community health plans, and that when plans are being drafted that they consider as priorities the issues put forward by communities;
- Programs and services must be put in place to address the many factors that contribute to mental health and substance misuse issues for First Nations. Services are required for grief/loss; re-trauma; inter-generational impacts of colonization and residential school; detoxification services; supportive recovery; re-entry; and life skill development;
- First Nations, and the Federal and Provincial governments must address jurisdictional issues and collaborate so that strategies can be developed in an inclusive manner;
- First Nations must have the capacity to address this issue in a manner that best suits their needs and cultural values and practices, therefore, capacity building should be a central goal to any strategy that is developed to address this issue;
- Cultural Competency training needs to be a requirement for all those that work in the area of mental health and substance misuse;
- There needs to be an integration of Modern/Traditional healing methods;
- A forum to share success stories and best/better practices is needed;
- Programs and services must be sustainable;
- Tele-health needs to be utilized more often to ensure appropriate services and treatment for transient patients;
- There must be accessible treatment facilities (D&A) and a reduction in wait times for First Nations needing access;
- Programs and services must recognize and celebrate all community and individual efforts toward recovery;
- Adequate, sustained and targeted funding for integrated and continuum of care services (sobering, detox, housing facilities and programs) is necessary;
- General service organizations should be required to show that they provide a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal people and that their staff is representative of the numbers of the peoples they serve;
- Program providers must offer solutions which do not require sobriety by merely providing a wet shelter or sobering centre for Aboriginal chronic alcoholics, they must go further and consider the full spectrum of needs of the individual and community;
- Those involved in addressing this issue need to adopt an Aboriginal Housing First Strategy; and
- Services provided to Aboriginal chronic alcoholics should include services for those with concurrent mental health issues.
*This information was obtained from a variety of sources, including the First Nations Health Blue Print for British Columbia 2005; Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey (2007, 2008 & 2009); First Nation Youth Wellness Gathering (2008); Health Director’s Forum (2008); Provincial Forum on First Nations Youth Suicide (2007); BC Regional National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) Needs Assessment; BC First Nations Health Regional Caucuses (2008 to 2010).
Specific Health Actions from the TCA: FNHP and TFNHP
TCA # 8 - To develop and implement a Mental Health and Addictions Plan
TCA # 9 – To host a forum to support and encourage cultural learning and to develop models of youth suicide prevention
TCA # 15 – To develop new culturally appropriate addiction beds for Aboriginal peoples