Culturally informed mental-wellness supports for Indigenous families

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 64, No. 7, September 2022, Page 290 News

Indigenous families with children 3 to 12 years old who are experiencing big worries and fears (known as anxiety in Western views) will have access to free, culturally grounded wellness practices through a virtual parent and caregiver coaching program. 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 the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC).

The program builds on the Confident Parents: Thriving Kids anxiety program offered by CHMA BC, in which trained coaches build on skills and strategies that can be used with children and family at home and in community settings. The We Are Indigenous program is grounded in Indigenous perspectives to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit families throughout BC and acknowledges the strong spiritedness of Indigenous families, the importance of supporting First Nations in their wellness wisdoms, and the disruptive influences of colonization on Indigenous families.

Parents, caregivers, and their children can learn about Indigenous-centred wellness practices and strategies to increase their skills and strong spiritedness to push back against big worries and fears. The program delivery includes short online videos and scheduled telephone coaching sessions to provide families with tools to discuss what they are already doing and to learn new practices and how to use these practices with their children. The program is available at no cost to parents and caregivers across BC by referral from a physician, nurse practitioner, teacher, school counselor, child and youth mental health clinician, or Aboriginal child and youth mental health clinician.

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. Culturally informed mental-wellness supports for Indigenous families. BCMJ, Vol. 64, No. 7, September, 2022, Page(s) 290 - News.

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