Indigenous young people are experts in their own lives. It's essential to our Indigenous Initiatives that we remain engaged in open conversation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth and their communities.
Ongoing engagement with Indigenous youth is an essential part of Finding Hope: Kids Help Phone's Action Plan for Supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young People. To support this the Kids Help Phone partnered with eight communities to learn from Indigenous youth about well-being and the mental health supports young people would like to receive.
Deanna Dunham, Manager of Indigenous Initiatives at Kids Help Phone said in a statement, "Indigenous young people are experts in their own lives. It's essential to our Indigenous Initiatives that we remain engaged in open conversation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth and their communities."
In early 2020, Kids Help Phone partnered with eight communities to hold 11 engagement sessions with Indigenous young people. The goal of these sessions was to listen and learn directly from Inuit, First Nations and Métis young people about their well-being and how they would like to receive mental health supports. The knowledge shared will provide critical insights into Kids Help Phone's programs and services, specifically when working with Indigenous young people.
Dunham says, "We're continually inspired by the passion that Indigenous youth show in supporting others across Canada. Together with their communities, they shared their knowledge openly and for the betterment of their peers. As we build a suite of Indigenous programs and services, the learnings from this project are already providing critical insights. We are tremendously grateful to the youth and communities for their partnership."
The report, Engaging Indigenous Youth for Kids Help Phone: A Reflection of Knowledge Shared, was produced by Métis firm Sister Circle Consulting, who coordinated and facilitated the engagement sessions. Kids Help Phone and the anonymous partner communities are sharing these learnings to inform program and service delivery for Indigenous youth from coast to coast to coast.