Let’s Stay “Sober(er)” Even After October!



​A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer.

Our latest Sober(er) for October challenge wrapped up on Sunday, and I'd like to congratulate everyone who took part! Kudos to you for choosing to work on your health and wellness, and for inspiring those around you to make healthier choices.

I hope you enjoyed participating – whether you decided to quit drinking, to drink less, or to learn more about alcohol and its negative effects on health.

Although this wellness movement was for the 31 days of October, I hope you will feel so much better that you'll want to keep up the good habits you've gained! However, if you abstained all month and will be resuming drinking alcohol, do remember that your tolerance level to alcohol consumption may be lower than before. Be sure to drink slowly and consider drinking non-alcoholic drinks in between alcoholic drinks.  

It was wonderful to see your comments and photos about your progress on our social media channels, and to hear your questions at our webinars. We can see that BC First Nations enjoy wellness-focused initiatives and challenges, and we will continue to provide them for you! If you have suggestions to improve this challenge, or suggestions for future challenges, please email the Wellness Initiatives Team at Wellness@fnha.ca

Here are highlights from the 2021 Sober(er) for October challenge:

  • UBC Learning Circle: Starting Meaningful Conversations about Substance Use (click here for a recording of the session). More than 50 people attended this interactive webinar session featuring a panel of Indigenous mental health and wellness providers to discuss alcohol consumption. Dr. Kelsey Louie, Corrina Chase, Paula Tait, and several Sekani people shared traditional Indigenous teachings to help start meaningful conversations with loved ones about substance use.
  • One Community's Journey. The community of Esk'etemc shared their ongoing healing and recovery journey. With abstinence programming, the community reversed their adult alcoholism rate of 100 percent to nearly the same rate of sobriety.
  • Sharing the Rethink your Drink kits. The FNHA partnered with the Indigenous Sports and Physical Activity Council (ISPARC) to create kits with a water bottle, straw, and information and recipe cards to participants of the Sober(er) for October challenge. You can still order a package by emailing Wellness@fnha.ca.
  • Honouring Our Healing Journeys. A message from the FNHA Four Directions Team with a cultural teaching by Elder Rosie White Elk.
  • A message motivating youth to make healthy choices​.

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. 

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

Stay well – you're worth it!

Dr. Shannon​​ McDonald​

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