Sober for October: Join Us in Wellness


​​How you can participate and invite others to join, too!


A joint message from Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Dr. Shannon McDonald, Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

We invite all First Nations people across BC to join FNHA's Sober for October Challenge!​

The FNHA's annual Sober for October Challenge, which we've hosted since 2018, is part of the FNHA's strength-based approach to wellness. It's a great opportunity for those of us who consume alcohol to reflect on how it may impact our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness – and then decide to either reduce our consumption or not drink at all this month.

Above all, this challenge is about you having a safe, non-judgmental space to support conversations around alcohol consumption for yourself, your friends, and your family. Each person's wellness journey is unique, so the path we take will look different for everyone.

These journeys are not linear and there is no one way to walk them. Sober for October is intended to support you as you reflect on your wellness journey and focus on your wholistic wellness goals by reducing or eliminating alcohol for the month of October.

Many of you have participated in previous years and shared your experiences and successes with us on our social media channels, and we look forward to hearing from you ag​ain this year!

Here are some suggestions that will help you prepare to participate:

  • Learn more about how alcohol impacts your life.
  • Check out this link for tips on how to handle social gatherings and events where alcohol might be present.
  • Remove alcohol from your home. Instead, stock your fridge with lots of non-alcoholic beverages – sparkling low-calorie flavoured waters are a great alternative. 
  • Increase your water intake each day to help you clear out toxins, help improve your skin, and energize your muscles.
  • Make yourself a set routine. In the evening, when you might find yourself feeling bored and reaching for an alcoholic beverage, plan instead a consistent activity such as reading a book, or going for a walk with your pet or a friend.
  • Check out a new alternative to alcoholic beverage recipes. Watch the Indigenous Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC) Food is Medicine: Tea with Fi – Nettle Mint Iced Tea cooking show to introduce a new, and healthy beverage to your day – make it for friends and family.

Any goals you make for your wellness may be difficult and challenging at times. It is important to be gentle with yourself and honour your journey, and to make informed decisions that put your health and well-being first! Ensure you are practicing self-care during this time and are scheduling extra wellness activities for yourself where you can. This will help reinforce the value of your choices and can give you the chance to decompress from a social situation and or reflect on how things went. 

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. ​

Find us on social media to ask us questions, tell your stories, and/or share your experiences. Remember to use the hashtag​ #FNHAwellness and tag us on social media!

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