Dora Simmons, BSW
Mental Wellness Coordinator
Building Healthy Communities Program
The building healthy communities program was established to address in the range of mental health services and activities related to crisis intervention, postvention and training for communities. In addition the program emphasizes the establishment of full continuum of services for the delivery of solvent abuse programs, including mental health promotion, community mobilization regarding solvent abuse, emergency responses and solvent abuse treatment aftercare.
The focus of this program is to address mental health and solvent abuse. In regards to mental health, the BHC program supports and assists to coordinate and maintain the development of community based mental health services – particularly making initial contacts and assessments: follow up and aftercare services: crisis management, intervention, follow up and aftercare. In regards to solvent abuse BHC program supports and facilitates prevention, early intervention and treatment aftercare of solvent abuse within communities.
Key Activities of the Building Healthy Communities Program are to act in a manner which role models and promote the holistic wellness of individuals and families.
Establish and maintain a visibly supportive trusting and respectful presence in the community.
Within the parameters of the community’s health program the tribal council coordinator facilitates workshops, trainings, and/or education opportunities in each SERDC community to enhance and empower all SERDC communities.
Establish and maintain supportive, trusting and respectful relationships with individuals seeking services as well as their families.
Brighter Futures Program
The Brighter Futures program reflects a goal of First Nations communities to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of First Nations children, their families and communities. The approach of Brighter Futures is holistic and integrated because it builds on the theme of partnerships and identifies solutions for children that may be at risk at the community level and recognizes that children’ s needs should not be separated from those of the family and community.
The overall goal of the BF Program is to encourage, support and maintain the well-being of children, individuals, families and communities through a community-determined approach. The BF program includes the following program elements: Mental Health, Parenting Skills, Child Development, Healthy Babies, and Injury Prevention.
National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS)
Individual mental health and wellness are key factors against becoming suicidal. As such, suicide prevention addresses in the context of individual, family and community health. As a program, the NAYSPS targets resources that support a range of community based solutions and activities that contribute to improved mental health and wellness among SERDC Youth families and communities.
· To increase awareness and understanding of Aboriginal Youth suicide prevention
· Increase recognition of suicide risk factors, warning signs and at risk behaviours of youth within the SERDC communities
· Provide tools and resources to promote mental wellness and to improve the recognition of risk factors for parents, community members, elders, service providers etc.
· Strengthen key protective factors such as a strong sense of identity, meaning purpose and resilience. Save Culture, Save Lives
· Engage youth and community members in the development and implementation of suicide prevention activities.
· Develop and utilize culturally relevant tools and resources that foster resiliency, emotional and spiritual health and coping skills.
· Strengthen and facilitate collaborative approaches and linkages within and across governments, agencies and service providers.
· Create and support appropriate linkages with local resources, committees, organizations and agencies such as schools, Elders, youth, community leaders, child and family services, health programs.
· Utilize and build on existing national, regional and local efforts to improve mental wellness in SERDC communities.