Sober for October Challenge: The Time is Now


There’s no better time set or reset your health and wellness plans and goals


A message from Dr. Shannon McDonald, Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

The FNHA's Sober for October Challenge, now in its fifth year, is an excellent opportunity for First Nations people who consume alcohol to reflect on our relationship with it and other substances and to challenge ourselves to either reduce or stop our consumption for the month. We aim to encourage more First Nations people to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption and health.

Now is a good time to try out a different wellness goal like this one because with the seasons changing from summer to fall, we are all making some adjustments to our lives and routines. The things we do to keep ourselves active and healthy during warmer weather may not be possible for now. For example, if you've been swimming or gardening outdoors all summer, you may have to find another activity for the fall and winter. So, how we nurture our spirits may look and feel different during this time.

For some of us, the fall and winter months are a fantastic season for activities like skiing, snowboarding, skating, etc. For others, this time can feel more challenging. The days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and it can sometimes feel more isolating. Therefore, we must listen to ourselves and our bodies during these months and focus on reducing things that may negatively impact our wholistic wellness. At the same time, we also need to stay connected in different ways than we did in warmer weather to combat loneliness.

​​Throughout October, we'll be sharing information, tips, and resources relating to the use of alcohol and other substances, like what resul​ts you can expect from eliminating alcohol for one month (Please visit our website to see previous years' Sober for October messages.) You can encourage your friends and family to join you on the journey, and together you can support one another in taking these steps towards wellness!

If you're one of the many among us who do not consume alcohol, or you're working on limiting your consumption through a harm-reduction approach, we invite you to share your story with us and other First Nations people in BC! Tag FNHA on social media or email your responses to You never know whom you might inspire and influence to focus on their wholistic well-being this year and beyond!​

Joining the Sober for October Challenge can help us plan for the upcoming colder months and not just fall into habits that may harm our health, like not getting as much exercise or drinking more than we planned. Throughout the month, we will share ideas and resources on social media to help you on your health and wellness journey.

Whether you reduce or quit your alcohol consumption this month, we hope you will be so pleased with your results that you will continue a reduced-alcohol or no-alcohol lifestyle!

Here are some ways you can plan to reduce or eliminate your alcohol consumption this October:

  • At the beginning of the challenge, take the time to reflect on your wellness journey, i.e., where you have been and how far you have come. Celebrating and honouring your progress is important, even if just small steps or wins.
  • Focus on resetting or setting your health and well-being goals. What works and what isn't working for you?
  • Ask yourself important questions: What fills up and nurtures my spirit? Is it quality time with friends and family? Is it ceremony and culture? Being on the land? Learning new things or skills? Please make a list of all the things that bring you joy and why they bring you joy.

To support you along your journey of wellness planning, we have the following resources:

If you are someone who feels that their drinking is a problem and that you need professional support, help is available through the First Nations Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service.

Skip Navigation>About>News and Events>News>Sober for October Challenge: The Time is Now