MNBC and LivingWorks Partner to Provide Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Training to Métis Communities in British Columbia
December 8, 2022
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), in partnership with LivingWorks, proudly announce the launch of Kaa-wiichihitoyaahk (We Take Care of Each Other): Comprehensive Métis Mental Wellness Community Capacity Building Implementation.
Funded to the tune of $2.2 million by the Public Health Agency of Canada, this project will utilize evidence-based suicide prevention programming to promote mental wellness and create a Network of Safety within Métis communities across BC.
“It is evident that there is a dire need within the Métis community to greater support mental health and wellness – now more than ever since the pandemic began,” says Dr. Kate Elliott, MNBC Minister of Mental Health and Harm Reduction. “Creating cultural safety/cultural wellness is just one of many steps needed to take place in our aim to create a Network of Safety.”
According to 2019 Statistics Canada data, the suicide rate among self-identifying Métis is approximately double the rate among non-Indigenous people. Data from 2020 indicates that, exacerbated by COVID-19, higher proportions of Indigenous people reported fair/poor mental health than non-Indigenous participants, while facing social inequities that directly or indirectly affect the mental health of individuals or communities.
Métis people across BC will see themselves reflected in this work, as MNBC collaborates with LivingWorks to establish and infuse a cultural framework which puts Métis knowledge at the core of the project, honouring the wisdom of Métis Elders, community, and culture throughout the process.
“LivingWorks’ aspiration is suicide-safer communities,” says Dr. Peter Gutierrez, Executive Vice President of Innovation, LivingWorks. “We believe that the design of this project taking a phased approach to training a small group of community members, then broadening it out to the community as a whole, is an effective and sustainable plan.”
Over a five-phase rollout beginning fall 2022 and set to complete March 2024, MNBC will implement a continuum of LivingWorks suicide prevention training courses for Métis individuals and communities province-wide, with the goal of creating a network of helpers willing and able to offer safety and support for those in crisis.
For more information or media inquiries:
MNBC: Jillian Jones, Director of Mental Health and Harm Reduction firstname.lastname@example.org