Trauma-informed Mental Health Support Program

National Association of Friendship Centres

Trauma-informed Mental Health Support Program

Friendship Centres connect people to culture, to community, and the resources to stay healthy. In addition to connecting community members, Friendship Centres help remove systemic barriers and access to culturally relevant services, including mental health services. Although COVID-19 exacerbated the challenge, FCs have been on the frontlines of urban care for a long time. Culturally relevant health care (including mental health), affordable transportation and accommodations, and patient navigation all contribute to better overall outcomes. Through the following mental health supports programs, NAFC will support Friendship Centres to increase their capacity to provide and expand access to trauma-informed mental health and cultural support services. Programming/activities are as unique as each Friendship Center. Some examples are Cultural Programming (medicine wheel teachings, traditional medicines, ribbon skirt/shirt, traditional foods, access to ceremony), Community programming (food security, family programming, community gatherings), Mental Health Programming (bridging traditional and Western teachings, self-care, mental health/training), staff capacity (to cover leave, assist with programming, ease the workload for existing staff).

Lead organization: National Association of Friendship Centres

Increasing capacity to provide, expand, and evaluate access to existing trauma-informed mental health programs and cultural support services for urban Indigenous communities

WHO

125 Friendships Centres across Canada offering services and supports to urban Indigenous peoples including First Nation, Métis, and Inuit

WHAT

Objectives

  • Connect Indigenous people to culture, community, and resources they need to stay healthy
  • Remove systemic barriers to culturally relevant services, including mental health services
  • Improve access to culturally responsive health care, affordable transportation and accommodations, and patient navigation

HOW

Through the Trauma-informed Mental Health Support Program, NAFC is providing support to Friendship Centres across Canada. Programs, activities, and services are unique to each Friendship Centre and may include:

  • Cultural programming (e.g., medicine wheel teachings, traditional medicines, ribbon skirt/shirt, traditional foods, access to ceremony)
  • Community-based health and support services (e.g., food security, family programming, community gatherings, and provide wrap-around services to ensure clients feel safe and supported)
  • Community and outreach partnerships (e.g., provide workshops and support groups, and collaborate with partners to connect community members to available support services)
  • Mental health supports (e.g., bridging traditional and western teachings, self-care, mental health/suicide training)
  • Staff capacity and expertise (e.g., Hire mental health support staff, promote resource sharing and training, and provide regular training opportunities for Health and Cultural Support Worker).

WHERE

Settings

  • Community

Implementation sites

  • National

WHY

  • COVID-19 exacerbated challenges faced by urban Indigenous people

 

Key protective factors

  • Cultural connectedness and identity
  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Involvement in community and group activities
  • Access to health and support services

Key approaches

  • Culturally relevant/grounded
  • Trauma-informed

Website

nafc.ca

Twitter

@NAFC_ANCA

Facebook

TheNAFC

 

Public Health Agency of Canada news release