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New perinatal mental health program will serve local Indigenous communities

The goal of the program is to promote good mental health based on the medicine wheel; It will serve Indigenous communities in North Simcoe, Muskoka
Jodi Blue - CHIGAMIK
Jodi Blue, Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Worker. Photo supplied by CHIGAMIK.

MIDLAND - Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre (CSC CHIGAMIK CHC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Perinatal Mental Health Program serving Indigenous communities in North Simcoe Muskoka.

In contrast to some mainstream or North American treatment models, the goal of the Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health program is to promote good mental health based on the medicine wheel.

The program encompasses the whole person in mind, body and spirit, and focuses on being connected to family, community and nature. Through the Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health program, expectant mothers and their families will have access to mental, emotional and spiritual support, including a personalized care plan, counselling, health education and navigation to a number of Indigenous resources at Chigamik and externally.

“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any time and it disrupts life not just for mothers, but for the entire family,” said Jodi Blue, Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Worker, CSC Chigamik CHC. “I look forward to working with local families to provide the support and resources needed for good emotional health of mom, baby and family.”

Chigamik’s Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health services include:

  • System navigation
  • Housing support
  • Baby/parenting supplies
  • Counselling
  • Access to a dietitian and healthy food
  • Traditional Healing and ceremonies
  • Primary care
  • Indigenous Doula and Midwifery
  • Support groups

“The Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health program is so important in our community because we know Indigenous families in remote areas don’t have access to perinatal services that are culturally-relevant to customs and beliefs,” said David Jeffery, Executive Director, CSC CHIGAMIK CHC. “This program will give parents and families across the region access to support when they need it most, which could prevent more serious mental health issues.”

The Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Program is free and available to anyone who self-identifies as First Nation, Métis or Inuit across North Simcoe Muskoka, on or off reserve. For more information and to book an appointment, please contact Jodi Blue at Chigamik at 705-527- 4154 x232. Referrals are not needed.