Component: IHWS – Promotion and Prevention

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service objectives

  • Improve the mental health and wellness of Indigenous peoples, particularly at- risk children and youth/young people and their families
  • Build service system capacity for Indigenous mental health programming
  • Promote mental health, healing and wellness through improved availability of mental health and addictions services that incorporate Indigenous knowledge and practices, and are trauma-informed and engaged, strength-based, and family and community focused
  • Increase individual, family and community capacity to facilitate healing and contribute to long term wellness

Service description

  • The mental health program supports a variety of wholistic culturally responsive client-specific services, the coordination of Indigenous mental health; programming, infrastructure to support access to mental health services, group activities, and dedicated mental health and recreation programming for Indigenous youth and young people
  • The Youth Mental Health & Recreation Program aims to address the high rates of youth suicides, particularly in northern and remote First Nation communities, and build strong and resilient young people through wholistic, culturally grounded promotion and prevention activities
  • Client-specific services are designed to
    • Identify specific risk factors or conditions that pose risks to individual mental health and well-being and/or family well-being
    • Provide wholistic prevention and early intervention supports
    • Treat and/or manage a mental health and/or addiction risk or issue using a combination of wholistic traditional healing and clinical care
    • Assist individuals/families in continuing their healing and wellness journey and reintegrating into positive community life following diagnosis and treatment
  • The program also supports the coordination of Indigenous mental health programming to improve service system capacity, including
    • capacity development training
    • infrastructure development such as multi-disciplinary and multi-regional case management
    • regional or inter-agency coordination of programs and services
    • sharing regional technology resources (e.g., telemedicine, tele-psychiatry, remote counselling)

People served

  • Indigenous individuals, families, children and youth/young people

Program / Service Features

The program/services contracted by the Ministry will reflect the following features

  • Indigenous cultural approaches are reflected or used as a part of the activities and services
  • Programming and services are culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and strengths-based and reflect the individual, family and/or community needs

Specific service provided may include

Client-specific services

  • Client-specific services are 1-on-1 supports provided to an individual and/or family and may include
    • Early intervention support for at-risk individuals and their families, including peer counselling and home visits
    • Intake, screening, assessment and referral services
    • Provision of specialized mental health supports for children, youth, families, elders, and Residential School survivors and survivors of intergenerational trauma
    • Specialized and/or multidisciplinary case management (including early intervention and treatment planning) and aftercare (post-treatment) supports for individuals with mental health and addictions issues
    • Initiatives to provide or improve access to contemporary and traditional therapeutic mental health services, including clinical consultations with registered professionals and/or Indigenous traditional healers and Elders
    • Group activities, where service/assistance has an individual or client- specific therapeutic or healing objective and process (e.g., mental health group counselling, family counselling, Child Play Therapy)
    • Crisis intervention and provision of support in urgent circumstances (e.g., suicide ideation or suicide attempt, mental health crisis, etc.)
    • Ceremonies and activities to address the wholistic mental health needs of individuals and families (e.g., Grief Ceremonies, cultural teachings, land-based healing)
    • Provision of therapeutic technology-based mental health services, such as tele-psychiatry, tele-medicine, and remote counselling
  • Client-specific services may be directed to the specific needs of Indigenous youth

Group activities

  • Activities are provided in a group-based setting and involve the development and implementation of primary prevention/health promotion strategies. Such initiatives are intended to promote mental health and healing through
    • Increased awareness/knowledge of mental health and addictions issues
    • Promotion of healthy attitudinal and behavioural change, including, self- esteem; personal dignity; coping skills; healthy relationships; fostering individual resilience and social supportive environments, and building strengths, resources, knowledge and assets for mental health
    • Incorporation of traditional Indigenous culture and cultural approaches
  • Group activities may include
    • Community and cultural events (e.g., Pow-wows, feasts)
    • Healing/cultural teaching circles and/or support groups, may be led by traditional healers and/or Elders
    • Traditional ceremonies and sweat lodges
    • Traditional workshops such as regalia making, drum making, quilt making, beading, and other activities
    • Activities to promote spiritual wellness and learning Self-care events and activities (including frontline staff) Fitness and/or recreational activities
    • Land-based activities
    • Dedicated mental health and recreation activities for Indigenous young people

Service system planning and coordination

  • Involves the development and coordination of resources (human, technological or financial) and relationships/partnerships to facilitate and support the provision of mental health programs and services
  • Examples of service system planning and coordination may include the development or establishment of
    • Inter-agency protocols and referral processes to provide clients with a circle/continuum of care and address any gaps in services
    • Regional crisis intervention processes and coordination
    • Specialized, multi-disciplinary case management or intake teams to conduct assessments and/or coordinate referrals to a specialist
    • Access to regional health or social services professionals to provide specialized guidance and support to local mental health workers
    • Partnerships with other service providers to support a continuum of care or provision of wraparound services

Training, education & awareness

  • The provision of training to individuals, teams, frontline staff, and community members to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to develop, implement, deliver and evaluate effective programming for Indigenous individuals, families, and communities in a coordinated manner
  • Training may address job-related or professional practice-related requirements. Inter-agency training may include orientation to Indigenous culture and cultural practices to improve services for Indigenous clients
  • Training for staff on creating positive conditions for the well-being of Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQQIA+ people, including the specific needs of youth
  • Education and awareness activities including public presentations, workshops, public education campaigns (e.g., alcohol and drug awareness, resources for mental health and addictions treatment, mental health promotion, mental health conditions during the childbearing period)

Respite and supports for community workers

  • Activities may include, but are not limited to
    • Access to cultural programming for frontline staff as a form of respite (e.g., healing lodge services, cultural teachings and support groups, land-based activities, traditional workshops, activities to promote spiritual wellness and leaning)
    • Care-for-the-caregiver models
    • Mental health modalities to prevent burnout such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), etc.
    • Developing and training on incorporating effective debriefing mechanisms in the workplace
    • Self-care and resiliency activities
    • Respite/relief staff to provide time off for frontline staff

Reporting requirements

Mental health training & supports for community workers (MHTSCW) initiative – year-end report

  • Funding recipients for the time limited MHTSCW funding must submit an annual report that includes outputs and outcomes achieved. The template is available for download in Transfer Payment Ontario
  • Service partners can highlight participant feedback on programs and services and use participants’ own words when possible
  • Narrative reports can include creative forms of communication and reporting, including audio, visual, oral and/or written formats

Service data

The following service data will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

Service Data NameDefinition

# of Individuals: Received Client-Specific Services: MHP

Unique, or unduplicated, count of individuals who received/ accessed client-based services (including virtual/remote therapeutic supports) through the IHWS Mental Health Program during the reporting period.

Each unique individual is counted only once per reporting period even if they received multiple services. If the individual carries into the next fiscal year, the individual is counted again in the new reporting period.

See Service description for further details and examples of client-specific services.

# of Client-Specific Services: MHP

The total number of client-specific services provided to individuals during the reporting period.

For example, if an individual accessed counselling services five times in the reporting period, this would be counted as five. See Service description for further details and examples of client-specific services.

# of Trainings: MHP

The total number of training sessions delivered during the reporting period. See Service description for further details and examples of mental health training.

If training is not provided through your Mental Health Program, input “0”.

# of Individuals: Received Training: MHP

Unique, or unduplicated, count of individuals who received training through the IHWS Mental Health Program (either directly provided through an IHWS-funded worker or training that is outsourced to a trainer but funded through the IHWS Mental Health Program budget). The total number of unique participants for each training activity is added to calculate the total number of individuals who received training in the reporting period.

If training is not provided through your Mental Health Program, input “0”. See Service description for further details and examples of mental health training.

# of Group Activities: MHP

The total number of group activities delivered during the reporting period. Each activity held in the reporting period should be counted as 1.

If a group activity is jointly organized/funded with another IHWS program, only one program should report the group activity (to be decided by the service provider). The program that reports the group activity should also report the total number of individuals who attended that group activity under the “Number of Individuals: Accessed Group Activities: MHP”.

If group activities are not provided through your IHWS- funded program, put “0”. See Service description for further details and examples of group activities.

# of Individuals: Accessed Group Activities: MHP

The total number of individuals who took part in group activities delivered during the reporting period. The same individual can be counted more than once if they participate in more than one group activity in the same reporting period. The total number of unique participants for each group activity is added to calculate the total number of individuals who took part in group activities in the reporting period. For example, if an individual attends four group activities in a reporting period, count four (4).

If a group activity is jointly organized/funded with another IHWS program, only one program should report the group activity (to be decided by the service provider). The program that reported the group activity (to be decided by the service provider) is responsible for reporting the total number of individuals who accessed the group activity under this data element. Do not include participants of the group activities that were not reported in “Number of Group Activities: MHP”.

If group activities are not provided through your IHWS- funded program, put “0”. See Service description for further details and examples of group activities.

# of Requests for Service: Unfulfilled: MHP

This data element includes requests for Mental Health Program services that were:

  • Referred elsewhere because the service was at capacity; or
  • Placed on a waitlist.

The same individual may be counted more than once under Mental Health Program if they requested service at different points in the reporting period.

Reporting is based on the initial response that takes place following the request for service. For example, if an individual requests service and is placed on the waitlist and receives the service within the same quarter, their request for service should still be reported once under this data element. Dependents are not counted under this data element.

Ministry- funded Agency Expenditures: MHP

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the Mental Health program in the reporting year (cumulative).