Inuit have identified mental wellness as the top health priority.
Mental wellness encompasses many things, including mental health, suicide prevention, mental illness, violence reduction, and prevention and treatment of addictions and substance abuse. For Inuit, mental wellness refers to “physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness, as well as strong cultural identity”. Housing, social supports, loss of culture, poverty, and other social factors (determinants) can impact a person’s mental wellness.
Inuit Tuttarvingat recognizes that mental wellness is an important part of individual and community health for Inuit. We have focused much attention on developing useful, Inuit-specific materials on this topic. Our work covers many aspects, including addictions, coping and resilience, and suicide prevention.
“Resilience: Overcoming Challenges and Moving on Positively”: This booklet focuses on the positive factors that enable people to cope successfully with the stresses and difficulties they face. There is a strong emphasis on the traditional coping and resilience skills that Inuit elders used in the past, and how these skills are still necessary in today’s world.
“Ikajurniq, Basic Counselling Skills: Inuit Voices, Modern Methods”: This manual outlines the traditional helping skills that Inuit used in the past, modern counselling practices, and how using both methods are important for effective counselling in the North.
“What is Mental Illness?”: This booklet provides health-care professionals and Inuit in the North with useful and accurate plain-language information on the causes, symptoms and treatments for mental illnesses.
Other resources from Inuit Tuttarvingat:
Helping Inuit Clients: Cultural Relevance and Effective Counselling
Culturally Sensitive Counselling With Inuit: An Example of Practical Application of Research
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Alianait Inuit Mental Wellness Action Plan, by the Alianait Inuit-specific Mental Wellness Task Group, 2007