Note: The information and material here may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts of past abuse. Please contact the 24 Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 if you require emotional support.
• Colonization and assimilation
• Systemic discrimination and racism
• Child Apprehension
• Land dispossession
• Loss of tradition, language and culture
• The legacy of residential schools
• Intergenerational trauma and its effects
• Stewardship of ancestral lands
• Presence of cultural services
• Control of the education system
• Control of health services
• Control of emergency response services
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has released a new policy outlining its vision for mental health and wellness a year after hosting its inaugural Mental Health and Wellness Summit, where FNHA first publicly shared the commitment at the core of the new Policy. Through the Policy FNHA has committed to working with partners to ensure access to a comprehensive continuum of mental health and wellness approaches. The Mental Health and Wellness Policy will support the FNHA, First Nations, and health system partners to plan for mental health and wellness from First Nations perspectives.
"We heard from our communities that a system-wide paradigm shift is needed to support the ongoing wellness, self-determination and resilience of our Nations and families," says Joe Gallagher, FNHA CEO. "Bringing this policy to life will support increased self-determination of First Nations and transform approaches towards mental health and wellness throughout BC."
First Nations communities, families and individuals in BC have clearly and consistently indicated that mental health and wellness is a top priority. To address this, the new policy was created, informed by both the First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness, and extensive engagement with First Nations people and communities.
Read the Mental Health and Wellness Policy here.:
Mental Health Counselling Services
The Health Benefits program offers coverage for mental health counselling services. Read more about mental health benefits at https://www.fnha.ca/benefits/mental-health.
A Path Forward: Making Mental Wellness and Substance Use Prevention Yours
An important step in transforming the mental wellness of BC First Nations happened in 2013. That's when the First Nations Health Authority, the BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and the Metis Nation released A Path Forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal People's Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten Year Plan.
The first of its kind, the plan was designed in BC to better meet the needs of First Nations and Aboriginal people, from infants to Elders. The plan has triggered a coordinated effort to develop policies, mobilize resources and use best practices – and ensure people are served by efficient systems that honour the diversity of their customs, values and beliefs.
This community-driven plan will guide the actions of planners over the next 10 years. It aims to complement existing mental wellness and substance use initiatives - promising practices already in use in First Nation and Aboriginal communities or in health authorities – and to encourage new initiatives.
Read the approach here via ISSUU. Download the approach here: FNHA MWSU plan PDF (1.93 mb)
Download the Hope, Help and Healing toolkit here (PDF 2.38 MB)
KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717)
First Nations and Aboriginal specific crisis line available 24/7, regardless of where individuals reside in BC.
KUU-US services are for First Nations, by First Nations and all crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety and therefore bring an understanding of First Nations history and trauma from the residential school to their roles. Last year, KUU-US helped over 10,000 individuals with mental health issues and crises related to residential school, child welfare, addiction, health concerns, divorce/separation, suicide ideation/survivorship, grief/loss, crime, abuse, peer pressure and financial distress.
Toll-free: 1-800-588-8717 - Youth Line: 250-723-2040 - Adult Line: 250-723-4050.
If you are in distress or are worried about someone in distress who may hurt themselves, call SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) 24 hours a day to connect to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal.
Native Youth Crisis Hotline - 1-877-209-1266
Answered by staff 24/7. Available throughout Canada and US.
Youth in BC
Visit www.youthinbc.com for youth resources or chat with a counselor online. You can also call 1-866-661-3311 (toll-free in BC) 24 hours a day.
Trans Lifeline - 1-877-330-6366 -
Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. We run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have. This is a FREE helpline run by volunteers and supported by the community.
Centre for Suicide Prevention
www.suicideinfo.ca for information, research and links to national distress websites.
310-6789 (no area code needed) Mental Health Information Line
Answered 24/7/365 it provides empowering emotional support, information on appropriate referral options and a wide range of support relating to mental health concerns.
See the Here to Help website for more information,
For a complete list of all crisis line numbers in BC go to:
Residential Treatment and Supportive Recovery Services In British Columbia
Treatment and supportive recovery services are live-in or bed-based substance use services that offer a range of programs and supports to help people who are looking to reduce or abstain from substances, and/or reduce harms associated with substance use. Programs can vary both in length, types of services offered, model of care and intensity of supports available.
Moving forward FNHA, in consultation First Nations communities, is working to develop a Mental Health and Wellness Action Plan to guide actions over the next five years and beyond.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact Erika Mundel, Senior Policy Analyst: Erika.Mundel@fnha.ca