Join Us for the FNHA’s Annual Sober for October Wellness Initiative!


Take steps towards wholistic wellness

A message from Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Nel Wieman, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer

At the First Nations Heath Authority (FNHA), we understand that the healing path from substance use is an individual one, and there is no one way to walk on it. Some choose abstinence (i.e., eliminating alcohol / other substance(s) use) while others choose to reduce consumption, substituting their substance of choice for something else, and/or accessing other alternative and cultural supports. No matter your chosen path, becoming more mindful of your wholistic wellness allows reflection on any stresses you may have in your life and how to manage that stress.

You can ask yourself the following questions: Who supports me? Who is good medicine for my spirit?  What tools and practices do I have to help myself along this journey?
Every step taken towards reducing alcohol use, no matter how small, is a step to better wellness. Whether choosing to abstain completely or to cut back, we support your decision. Sober for October isn't just about quitting alcohol; it's about embracing a healthier lifestyle and being more mindful of our choices.

For the month of October, we invite you to share your Sober for October journeys with us by using the hashtag #FNHAwellness and tagging us on all social media platforms. You will not only be inspiring others, you will be entered to win a prize!

This initiative is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on the role alcohol and/or other substances play in your life and how that may affect your overall well-being.

If you are a First Nations person living in BC who consumes alcohol and/or other substances, we encourage you to participate by taking some time to think about your use and decide whether you would like to begin reducing or eliminating your consumption this month.

Reducing or eliminating the use of substances is a big step toward achieving wholistic wellness. Hopefully you will consider taking that step! 

If, like us, you do not drink alcohol or use substances (see our stories here and here), please let your friends, family and colleagues who may be interested know about this initiative and encourage them to participate!

To support participants this month – and beyond – the FNHA Wellness Team will feature a wealth of activities and resources on our website and social media platforms, as well as any stories you may share with us about your participation in this wellness initiative.  

The FNHA's Harm-Reduction Approach

If you do participate this month by abstaining or reducing consumption of alcohol / other substances, we encourage you to keep the ball rolling! However, if drinking alcohol resumes after a period of abstinence or less drinking, please know that your tolerance will be lower than before. This may mean you will need to drink more slowly and consider drinking non-alcoholic drinks in between alcoholic drinks.


To learn more about alcohol harm-reduction services and information, visit the link here. For information on treatment centres, visit the link here.

Check out the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation website for information on programs and services for substance use and addiction. Also, more information and support networks can be found at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction website.

Review the recent announcement of new alcohol-consumption guidelines; visit the link here

You can also access culturally safe care through the FNHA' s​ Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service, which provides BC First Nations people and their family members (even if non-Indigenous) with access to specialists in addictions medicine and psychiatry.​

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