Family service agencies Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington (FCSSGW) and Carizon Family and Community Services serving Waterloo Region have partnered with Anishnabeg Outreach Employment and Training Inc. to offer counselling services for Indigenous peoples in these communities. The funding comes from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network.
This intersectional approach of incorporating community-based Indigenous mental health and wellness services is a step toward health and healing in these regions. The partnerships ensure that Indigenous people have access to culturally appropriate mental health solutions where they live.
“Anishnabeg Outreach is working tirelessly to develop mental health and reconciliation-based healing programs and services that are best suited for Indigenous peoples in the region. It’s through the development of our Indigenous Mental Health and Wellness Program that we will be able to take the next step in moving the needle on healing in our region, and for us these partnerships are an example of real reconciliation,” said CEO Stephen Jackson.
There are many historical detriments that have worked to shape the mental wellbeing of Indigenous peoples in Canada. When trauma goes untreated, it can be transferred to the next generation. With no access to culturally appropriate services, Indigenous peoples may turn to drug use, alcohol, and other destructive behaviours as coping mechanisms.
“Indigenous mental health concerns have grown significantly in our community,” said executive director Joanne Young Evans. “FCSSGW is thrilled to be partnering with Anishnabeg Outreach thanks to the WWLHIN’s initiative. We’re pleased that Anishnabeg Outreach will now be able to offer appropriate supports.”
Tracy Elop, CEO of Carizon, said, “Carizon is thrilled to partner with Anishnabeg Outreach so they can provide the culturally appropriate mental health supports that are needed. We are also looking forward to learning from Anishnabeg Outreach – to help us understand how we at Carizon can take meaningful steps to aid in the reconciliation process.”
For more information about the range of counselling services available to Indigenous peoples, contact Anishnabeg Outreach at (226) 972-1900.