About the Project Overview

Iskatewizaagegan Independent First Nation is pleased to announce that they have received funding from the Health Services Integration Fund (HSIF) to work with appropriate partners to increase access to mental health and addiction services for First Nation citizens in the Kenora area by developing an integrated system of care.  Mental Health and addictions has always been a considerable challenge in this geographical area that has not been appropriately addressed by any community, organization or program.  Addressing the mental health and addictions issues experienced by our First Nations is long overdue.  Iskatewizaagegan Independent First Nation and their partners are committed to bringing this issue to the forefront for every community in our geographical area.


Overview Of The Project

The purpose of the HSIF is to support, promote and advance the integration of health services, which are currently being provided by the provincial and federal government; it is not about the creation of new services.  The project funding will not be used to provide/purchase mental health and addictions services, but to develop an integrated system from existing services that are not currently accessed in a meaningful way by the participating communities.

This project will facilitate the development of an integrated service delivery model as the foundation to comprehensive, culturally safe, effective, timely, proactive and population-based Mental Health and Addiction services. To achieve this, service integration must be improved in the areas of Traditional Indigenous healing, mental health and addictions, primary care, provincial and federal services and among First Nations, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal service organizations.

Seven First Nations in the Kenora area have joined with Iskatewizaagegan Independent First Nation, HSIF project lead, to align and coordinate Mental Health and Addictions programs and services that currently do not work effectively together to benefit the 6,851 First Nation citizens in the participating communities.  This model of care will increase access to services by making it easier for those First Nations people who struggle with Mental Health and Addictions issues to feel secure in a culturally appropriate model of care.   It will allow those First Nations peoples who need these services to be linked to First Nations and non-Aboriginal Addictions and Mental Health service providers.

The duration of the HSIF funding to develop and implement the system is from September 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015.  The integrated mental health and addiction services delivery system, funded from existing services, will continue beyond the mandate of this HSIF project.

The most admirable component of this interactive mental health and addictions services webpage is that it grew from the cooperation and collaboration of the HSIF steering committee members.  The NW LHIN provided the initial list of service providers;  Kienan Williams updated their research, committee members clarified misinformation and then Sean Lougheed took the lead and working with summer staff and intern students updated the information, hired the developer and has coordinated the web design – all with input from the Steering committee.

What is the Health Services Integration Fund:

The Health Services Integration Fund (HSIF) initiative is designed to support collaborative planning and multi-year projects aimed at better meeting the health care needs of First Nations and Inuit. Through HSIF, Health Canada is working with other governments and First Nations and Inuit organizations to improve the integration of federally funded health services in First Nations and Inuit communities with those funded by the provinces and territories; to build multi-partner partnerships to advance health service integration, to improve aboriginal access to health services; and to increase the participation of First Nation and Inuit in the design, delivery and evaluation of health programs and services. The objectives of the national HSIF initiative are to:

  1. Improve the integration of federally and provincially funded health services;
  2. Build a Strong Partnership with Provincial Partners as well as other health service delivery partners to advance the integration of health services that are better suited to the health needs of First Nations;
  3. Improve access to health service.
  4. Improve the participation of First Nation communities in the design, delivery and evaluation of health programs and services;
  5. Facilitate a broad engagement among First Nation communities, FNIHB Ontario Region and the province, including other partners/stakeholders, that is more likely to lead to significant and lasting improvement in the integration of the health system.

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