Strengthening Families Together-First Nations is well on its way in the Interior Region of B.C.
Monique Goward and Rosanne Nelson, Interior Region SFT-FN program staff, have been connecting through relationships and partnerships to provide information and support families who are providing care to their loved ones, and want to learn about mental illness/mental health.
It is an honour for BCSS Educators to walk this journey with First Nations families. Through our community engagements, we have discovered that every community has unique gifts of knowledge to offer their families. And across the region, band staff and family members have shared their gratitude to us bringing SFT-FN to pass along teachings and new information that helps participants, families and communities.
In the Chilcotin Region, Yunesit`in (Stone) has included shared dinners and community celebrations into the SFT-FN program, encouraging increased community connection and support for each other. We are also extending a huge thank you to Dorothy Myers, our program co-Facilitator and community Elder, for providing support and guidance to BCSS and her community.
In the Northern Shuswap Region, the Tsq’escenemc (Canim Lake) has planned both a Lunch & Learn and SFT-FN community program that will include meals and a celebration. With the guidance of the community, we have also been able to deliver information door-to-door and speak with family members who are interested in participating in the program.
In Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek/Dog Creek) we engaged healthcare staff and community members in planning program delivery that will also include sharing meals and a celebration. Thank you Mary Tenale and Peter Paul for providing support to families throughout this project.
In the Southern Interior, Bonaparte and Skeetchetsn, we have attended health fairs and connected with healthcare staff and families to build up the foundations needed to host a SFT-FN in that community.
As we continue our work to host SFT-FN sessions across the Interior Region, we are continuing to listen, learn and walk with our families on their journey to better understand serious mental illness. In the process, BCSS families are also strengthening their own circles and networks through education and advocacy.
BCSS honours our partnerships and invites further conversations with communities and health agencies. We also look forward to joining your community to celebrate families as they work together to find and build strength to support their loved ones.
If you have inquiries about SFT-FN please feel free to call Monique Goward at 250-302-1210 or SFT-FN@bcss.org