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MAIN CONTACT

Tracy Antone
Director of Health
tracy@coo.org

NIHB CONTACTS

Emily King
NIHB Navigator North
emily.king@coo.org

Tobi Mitchell
NIHB Navigator South
tobi.mitchell@coo.org

 

AFN Mental Health Bulletin

The health of the First Nations is indisputably poorer than others in Canada. Our peoples experience rates of mental illness, depression, substance abuse and suicide more than other Canadians. We are acting now for change. We are acting now to close the gap.
 
This bulletin was created to honour the remarkable projects, programs and activities taking place in First Nation communities across Canada that support and promote mental wellness and community empowerment. This bulletin highlights approaches to wellness that are strength-based, relationship-focused and informed by First Nations evidence. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) received many submissions and I am truly grateful to all those who took the time to share their stories and knowledge.
 
First Nation-driven approaches provide a solid foundation to all efforts supporting and achieving mental wellness. Our peoples have the tools and the solutions, many of which were discussed at the AFN Mental Wellness Policy Forum
that took place in Winnipeg March 25-26, 2015. Presentations, workshops and discussions at the forum were grounded in an understanding of wellness that moves beyond biomedical and epidemiological understandings of illness. Instead, the focus was on the unique historical, economic, political and social factors impacting the wellness of First Nations and recognizing that culture is the foundation of healthy people, healthy communities and healthy nations.
 
Healthy First Nations are thriving First Nations, and it is my hope that we will continue to forge the path to improved
health and wellness together. Together we will close the gap!
 
Yours Sincerely,
 
National Chief Perry Bellegarde
 
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