Many First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada confront historical, cultural, socioeconomic and geographic barriers that have a profound impact on mental wellness. In 2006, a Senate Committee reported on mental health, mental illness and addiction. A key result has been the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). Around the same time, Health Canada established a Mental Wellness Advisory Committee (MWAC) in collaboration with the representative bodies of Canada's First Nations and Inuit ‐ the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami ‐ to develop a strategic action plan to improve mental wellness outcomes of First Nations and Inuit. A participatory, inclusive and consensus‐based approach to the MWAC work has been key to the successful development of the strategic action plan and has brought credence and legitimacy to the process. MWAC, the strategic action plan and the ready linkages with the MHCC are important guides for moving forwards to improve the mental wellness outcomes of Canada's First Nations and Inuit.
The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2008
Keywords: Indigenous; Aboriginal; First Nations; Inuit; Métis; Mental wellness; Mental health; Strategic action plan