by Janet Pothier; Health Advisor, CMM

Mental Health Promotion & Mental Illness Prevention
We know how to do it but we aren’t doing it. Why?

Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Protection, what does this mean exactly in the context of First Nations people living in the Atlantic Region? And, if we know how to ‘do’ Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention, why is it that we still can’t get it right? There was an attempt to answer the second question at the Mental Health Summit 2012, held in Winnipeg Manitoba February 15 & 16, 2012. The Summit was the result of a First Ministers meeting where provincial Premiers identified mental health and mental illness as priorities in their provinces and called for a national summit to discuss the issues and look at current research and best and promising (wise) practices in mental health promotion and mental illness prevention. Manitoba offered to host the summit, so they could highlight the provinces work in the area of healthy child development and family programs with mental health promotion and mental illness prevention highlighted as a priority. The provinces initiative ‘Healthy Child Manitoba’ is a cross departmental and jurisdictional initiative available to every child in Manitoba. What is truly groundbreaking about this initiative is that the province chose to include all children, including children living on reserve, in all their Healthy Child Manitoba initiatives. One could ask, shouldn’t this always be done ...

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