Ontario gives $800K to Indigenous health teams to address residential school trauma

TORONTO-Ontario is dedicating $800,000 to Indigenous health-care teams to help people experiencing trauma as a result of the residential school system.

The government says the money will go to eight Indigenous Primary Health Care Council member organizations to enhance the delivery of culture-based mental health and addictions care.

The funding could be used to hire mental-health specialists, such as psychiatrists, social workers and wellness workers, or for training and education, or to develop models of traditional healing such as sweat lodge ceremonies.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford says it will help provide much-needed support for residential school survivors, their families and community members.

The government says the new funding is in addition to the $20 million that has been committed to support burial investigations at sites of former residential schools across the province.

The Indigenous Primary Health Care Council membership has 20 members with the following eight members receiving funding support as part of this initiative: Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, Wasauksing First Nation Health Centre, Mino M’shki-ki Indigenous Health Team, Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, Sweetgrass Health Centre and Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team.

A 24-hour National Residential School Crisis Line is available for former residential school students at 1-866-925-4419.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2022.




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