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Province invests $2 million in Mi'kmaw mental health and addictions strategy

The aim is to create a high-quality mental wellness system that incorporates Mi'kmaw culture and values to enhance trauma-informed supports
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From left, Sharon Rudderham, Director of Health Transformation, Tajikeimik; Pictou Landing Chief Andrea Paul; Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade; Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health; and Lindsay Peach, Executive Director, Tajikeimik

The provincial government has announced a one-time $2 million investment to help develop a Mi'kmaw mental health and addictions strategy.

The aim is to create a high-quality mental wellness system that incorporates Mi'kmaw culture and values to enhance trauma-informed supports.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the partnership between the Mi'kmaq and the provincial health system and acknowledges the long-standing health disparities between the Mi'kmaq and other Nova Scotians as a result of colonization, systemic racism and generations of cultural, social, and historical disadvantage," said Wagmatcook First Nation Chief Norman Bernard in a news release.

"With this funding, communities will lead and develop a comprehensive and high-quality First Nations mental wellness system that values culture as the foundation and incorporates the Mi'kmaw wholistic vision of healing and wellness."

The money will be going to a new health and wellness organization called Tajikeimɨk. The organization is a collaboration of all 13 Mi'kmaw First Nations.

"The funding announced today will enable the advancement of the mental wellness priorities that have been identified by the First Nations communities," said Tajikeimɨk's executive director Lindsay Peach in a news release.

"Working collaboratively with community, health teams, and partner organizations, the Mi'kmaw Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will guide the development of a continuum of mental health and addictions services that are led by the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, focusing on strengths and supporting the growth of a skilled Indigenous workforce."
 

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