A new treatment program for First Nation youth with addictions or mental health issues will launch on June 11th in a new centre on Manitoulin Island.
The Gwekwaadziwin Miikan Centre opened its doors just over a week ago in Aundeck Omni Kaning, formerly called Sucker Creek First Nation. It took in its first clients last Monday.
According to the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin, the name refers to one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and in the Ojibwe language it means “Living the right way.”
The program provides a client-based model of mental health and addiction treatment for Anishinabek young adults.
The Seven Grandfathers program is designed for young adults age 19-30 and consists of three phases: land based treatment, live in aftercare, and community aftercare.
Where appropriate, clients may move directly from phase 1 to phase 3; or they may enter phase 2 directly following completion of a treatment program elsewhere.
The goal of the first phase is a three-month long land based treatment (LBT) phase is stabilization, emotional growth, self-management skills and social skills. LBT incorporates outdoor experiential learning, combining therapeutic techniques with Anishinabek culture and conducted completely in the wilderness.
The second phase, the live-in aftercare phase, runs from six months to one year, providing a stable environment for participants to continue developing and practicing therapeutic and life skills. Participants are encouraged to attend regular groups and one-on-one counselling while attending work, school or volunteer opportunities.
And, the third phase is community aftercare and assists with participants’ reintegration into their community. This phase lasts six months and includes a gradual transition to either independent living or living with their family and full reintegration into their community. Participants will be offered appropriate referrals to community services and peer support groups and staff will maintain contact and offer support via meetings, phone, text message and social media.