A New Approach for Tripartite Investment in First Nation Mental Health & Wellness

Announcement was made at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX.

Published May 18, 2018

COAST SALISH TERRITORY, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Building on the progress of the tripartite health initiative, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) have agreed to take significant steps to improve First Nation mental health wellness outcomes in BC.

First Nations in British Columbia have identified mental health and wellness as a top priority. Through discussions on the social determinants of health and wellness led by the FNHC, British Columbia First Nations have been consistent in their calls for immediate action to improve mental health and wellness services and supports.

The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the FNHC will establish a new approach for federal and provincial investment in mental health and wellness services. This new funding approach will allow First Nations to plan, design and deliver a continuum of community-based mental health and wellness services based on their health plans and priorities.

Through this new approach, the partners aim to simplify the process for First Nations to access funding for mental health and wellness services by pooling federal and provincial funding and establishing new andmore flexible funding arrangements that focus on outcomes. The partners are committed to facilitating greater cross-government collaboration to enhance the coordination of mental health and wellness services accessed by First Nation children, youth and families in BC.

As part of this new agreement, Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will each invest $10 million over two years for a total funding commitment of $30 million. This initial investment will support a series of demonstration sites that support enhanced service delivery models for mental health and wellness. In addition, this initial investment will support First Nation communities and Nations in British Columbia to develop, renew or redesign mental health and wellness plans in a manner that aligns with their vision of health and wellness. These plans will focus on prevention and enhancing protective factors associated with positive mental health and wellness outcomes.

Canada and BC recognize the need to build, repair, renovate and expand a number of Indigenous treatment centres in British Columbia. This aligns with the Province of British Columbia’s commitment to transform the mental health and addictions system of care to ensure a seamless, integrated, and comprehensive experience where all British Columbians, including Indigenous Peoples, can access effective culturally safe services andsupports. Canada, BC, the FNHC and the FNHA are committed to working together as partners in the Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance (2011) to develop a tripartite plan to address these objectives. This plan will be presented at the next meeting of the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health in September 2018.

Thursday’s announcement was made at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX, a forum hosted by the FNHC on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver that brings together First Nations from across British Columbia to engage in direct dialogue with each other and federal, provincial and health system partners on factors that influence the health and wellness of their children, families and communities.

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