Te Mauri - Pimatisiwin

Community-Based Mental Health Initiatives in a First Nations Health Centre: Reflections of a Transdisciplinary Team

 

Abstract

 

As a case study on collaboration, this paper is a first person account from a psychologist and a social worker and their experiences developing and piloting communitybased mental health programs for a rural Albertan Cree community. We provide an overview of two such pilots, the Family Wellness Program and the Community-based Anger Management Workshops. Here we reflect on our attempts to integrate mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual considerations consistent with the community cultural context. Each of these programs have been developed and offered within both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary contexts involving counsellors, teachers, nurses, and community Elders from within and outside the community. Such dynamic programming has evolved into transdisciplinary community-based mental health initiatives that have enhanced community wellness but also taxed these rural service providers. Together we share our reflexivity, outlining some of the issues, challenges, and inspirations in our separate and collaborative work in our attempts to foster mental health and community wellness for this resilient but marginalized population.

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