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Ontario Connecting Indigenous Communities to More Mental Health Supports

5th Feb 2024 Ontario News

THUNDER BAY — The Ontario government is investing over $2.6 million to connect Indigenous communities to more mental health and addictions supports, closer to home.

“Our government recognizes the importance of Indigenous-led, culturally appropriate services,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We are continuing to take action to ensure Indigenous communities across northern Ontario have access to safe and effective mental health and addictions services closer to home.”

The over $2.6 million in funding to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 First Nations and approximately 45,000 Indigenous people, includes:

  • $1 million for Keewaytinook Okimakanak, which leads the NAN Hope program that provides community-driven, culturally appropriate services, and supports surge capacity to address urgent mental health and addictions needs across Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory.
  • $623,500 for NAN mental health supports in First Nations schools located in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout, in response to the Seven Youth Inquest.
  • $500,000 for NAN IHWS Crisis Teams through the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy (IHWS), which provides an effective, coordinated approach to crisis response in communities.
  • $500,000 for NAN to purchase vehicles and further develop their mobile crisis response teams, allowing them to connect more remote Indigenous communities to mental heath and addictions services.

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