Mental Health and COVID-19 Supports

Mistawasis Nêhiyawak

Mental Health and COVID-19 Supports

Utilizing a traditional and contemporary hands-on approach the youth of Mistawasis Nehiyawak are building awareness, knowledge, and skills for wellness. They are building Mental Health Literacy through art, research, discussion, land-based activity and storytellingUsing the cultural, traditional, and spiritual practices of the Mistawasis Nehiyawak people, the project is building positive engagement and recreating connections with youth, their families, and their communities that were lost through COVID.   Currently 34 youth in grades 10 to 12 are participating in a curriculum-based course and planning their Youth Wellness SummitThe community is working together to support a Circle of Care Case Management Model to ensure both mental wellness protective factors and risk factors are addressedSystem supports are collaborating on pathways to wellness for the youth in the community

Lead organization: Mistawasis Nêhiyawak

Exploring the resilience and protective factors that promote mental health and wellness for Indigenous youth, with the aim of compiling project teachings and sharing with our kin across the nations.

WHO

Indigenous youth residing on the First Nation of Mistawasis.

WHAT

Objectives

  • Using the cultural, traditional and spiritual practices of the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak people, the project will implement positive ways to engage and recreate connections with youth, their families and their communities as well as work with systems to address current gaps and create new multisystem pathways for care.
  • The project will provide immediate mental health well-being interventions for 50 – 80 youth from Mistawasis Nehiyawak through culturally-based mental health promotion designed to support and build resiliency in youth through various activities.

HOW

Engaging with all systems (e.g., education, health and recreation) the project activities include:

  • Mental Wellness Education and Awareness Curriculums delivered K to 12 students and parents.
  • Mobilize Youth Empowerment social platforms and engagement and connection activities.
  • Cultural wrap around approach with targeted mental health screening and intervention
  • Stabilization service pathway and policy with partners on and off reserve

WHERE

Settings

  • School
  • Home
  • Community

Implementation sites

  • Three site locations at the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak First Nations reserve, Saskatchewan.

WHY

  • Mistawasis Health Centre have identified that the population of youth have suffered the most and have exuded serious mental health challenges.
  • There are substantial increased rates of youth disengaged from school, from their families and their communities that suffer from conditions created by the pandemic.
  • The Health Centre is focused on pivoting from crisis intervention to community engagement and connection through health promotion, intervention and pathways to recovery and resiliency.

 

Key protective factors

  • Mental Health Literacy
  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Cultural connectedness and identity
  • School connectedness
  • Involvement in community and group activities

Key approaches

  • Culturally safe
  • Wraparound support

 

Public Health Agency of Canada news release