First of its kind First Nations mental health and wellness conference takes place in Vancouver – CBC

We’re dealing with some very difficult things,’ Grand Chief Doug Kelly says

Feb 08, 2018

Mental health and substance abuse are the top health priorities for First Nations across B.C., says Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations Health Council.

Hundreds of people, including elders, community leaders, educators and care providers, are in Vancouver to talk about how best to meet those mental health and wellness needs at the first conference of its kind hosted by the B.C. First Nations Health Authority.

The two-day agenda is packed with sessions on a range of topics, from Indigenous harm reduction strategies to how communities are addressing incidents of sexual abuse to implementing Jordan’s Principle, which is supposed to ensure Indigenous children receive medical care first and who pays for it is decided later.

“I’m full of good feelings and I’m full of hope because there’s 600 leaders and caregivers that want to make a difference,” Kelly said in his keynote address.

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