A woman holds a smudge stick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Yader Guzman

A woman holds a smudge stick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Yader Guzman

B.C. launches new online mental health program for Indigenous families and youth

The free program is grounded in Indigenous perspectives

A new program has been launched to support the mental health of Indigenous families with children aged three to 12 in B.C.

The We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears Parent/Caregiver Support Program was developed with the guidance of the Indigenous advisory group Caring in All Directions and Indigenous writers in collaboration with Canadian Mental Health Association.

The free program is grounded in Indigenous perspectives. It delivers a series of short online videos supported by seven weekly or bi-weekly coaching sessions by phone where families can discuss the best ways to work through big worries and fears together.

We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears, Parent Support Program from CMHA BC on Vimeo.

Interim vice chair of the First Nations Health Authority Tammie Myles said the program will support equitable access to quality mental health programs for youth and families.

“If we live our life in balance as Indigenous people we can live up to our fullest potential. Our brains are developing the fastest at zero to six years old, so it’s really important for us to be embedded with our own ways of being in the world. If we have children raised in a background that is full of pride in their identity, they are going to have much better outcomes.”

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