09 February 2018 0 Comments Posted By : Chantelle Bellrichard

First of its kind First Nations mental health and wellness conference takes place in Vancouver

Mental health and substance abuse are the top health priorities for First Nations across B.C., says Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations Health Council.

Hundreds of people, including elders, community leaders, educators and care providers, are in Vancouver to talk about how best to meet those mental health and wellness needs at the first conference of its kind hosted by the B.C. First Nations Health Authority. 

The two-day agenda is packed with sessions on a range of topics, from Indigenous harm reduction strategies to how communities are addressing incidents of sexual abuse to implementing Jordan's Principle, which is supposed to ensure Indigenous children receive medical care first and who pays for it is decided later.

"I'm full of good feelings and I'm full of hope because there's 600 leaders and caregivers that want to make a difference," Kelly said in his keynote address.

"We're dealing with some very difficult things."

Those difficulties include the number of children in provincial government care, suicides and the disproportionate number of First Nations people dying in the ongoing opioid overdose crisis.

'Resiliency comes from love'

Kelly said at the root of those tragedies is more than a century of assimilation policies and racism and in his view, the best way to plant the seeds of resiliency in communities is through love.

"Now it's time to work … to put a plan together so the seeds that you plant, in your children, in your grandchildren, will be well-tended with unconditional love, well-tended with a future full of hope, a future full of opportunity."

Those at the conference are there to learn more about how the health authority can support them in meeting specific needs and to share successes so people can learn from their experiences.


views : 45 | images : 1 | Bookmark and Share


Enter your comment below



Leave a Reply

Most Popular

BusinessVancouver firm banking on big-time Bitcoin bonanza

A journey through Drumheller, Alberta, a community known for its dinosaur museum, has the potentia [...]

15 February 2018

BusinessCanadian home prices rise as Toronto sees first gain in 6 months

The Canadian real estate market got off to a good start this year with house prices risi [...]

15 February 2018

HealthKathy MacNeil confirmed as Island Health's chief executive officer

Island Health’s interim CEO, Kathy MacNeil, has been appointed to the job permanently. She is n [...]

20 February 2018

HealthB.C. nurse hit with precedent-setting fine for financially exploiting elderly couple

The College of Registered Nurses of B.C. says a precedent-setting penalty to a nurse who financial [...]

20 February 2018

MoneyVancouver, B.C.’s hot housing market getting more expensive for foreign buyers

Vancouver, B.C., one of the hottest housing markets in North America, is getting a little tougher fo [...]

21 February 2018

TORONTO BOOK PUBLISHING