Investment in Mi’kmaw Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
The government is providing a one-time investment of $2 million to the new health and wellness organization Tajikeimik to support the development of a Mi’kmaw mental health and addictions strategy.
“Supporting people and organizations to create and expand programs, services and initiatives that address the needs of people who are in crisis or living with mental illness or addiction is a priority of government,” said Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health. “We are pleased to provide funding to Tajikeimik for the development of a culturally responsive mental health and addictions strategy for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.”
The strategy will guide the development of a comprehensive, high-quality and culturally appropriate Mi’kmaw mental wellness system. It will incorporate Mi’kmaw culture and values, striving to enhance trauma-informed health and cultural supports. For Mi’kmaw communities, the strategy is a first step on the pathway to improved access to culturally safe mental wellness care and support.
Tajikeimik, a collaboration of all 13 Mi’kmaw First Nations, is a developing organization that is leading health transformation on behalf of Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia. It will be responsible for designing and delivering health and wellness services to improve the overall health for individuals and communities.
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. 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.
Chief Norman Bernard, Wagmatcook First Nation; one of two Lead Chiefs for Health, Tajikeimik
The funding announced today will enable the advancement of the mental wellness priorities that have been identified by the First Nations communities. 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.
Lindsay Peach, Executive Director, Tajikeimik
Province of Nova Scotia mental health and addictions programs and services: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/mental-health/
Nova Scotia Health Authority mental health and addictions services: https://mha.nshealth.ca/en
IWK Health Centre mental health and addictions services: http://www.iwk.nshealth.ca/mental-health