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Mental Wellness During COVID-19 – First Peoples Wellness Circle

Covid-19 Resource – Information sheet for Mental Wellness

The First Peoples Wellness Circle (FPWC) is a national not-for-profit corporation governed and managed by Indigenous Leaders and exists to improve the lives of Canada’s First Peoples by addressing healing, wellness and other mental health challenges. FPWC is a national corporation with membership open to all Canadians who are committed to similar goals.

COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and changing circumstances that makes for very difficult times in First Nation communities. We are especially vulnerable with the threat of this virus. It is likely that we may experience some mental distress at some point during this crisis which can take a toll on your mental health. We have a strong history of resilience and strength as First Nations people. Many nations look to take care of self by ensuring all aspects of body, mind, spirit and emotions are attended to for overall health. We have many cultural strengths to draw upon to stay connected and keep well, even while we practice social distancing.

For Community

In First Nations culture, we have traditionally supported each other by sharing stress collectively. We often carry the stress of relatives in our bodies, so that they do not need to carry their stresses alone. Through connecting this way, we thrive in the best of times and survive in the worst of times. Sharing stress collectively also means we may experience increased feelings of fear, worry, anger, shame and other challenging emotions.

Please download PDF below for full information sheet on Community Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness During Covid-19 for Community

For Elders & Seniors

Acknowledging that Elders and Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the virus, many local, provincial and federal sources have urged this group to avoid going out of their home and to avoid contact with anyone outside of their home as much as possible. This may result in increased boredom and feelings of isolation for them. It is important to be thoughtful about the unique circumstances of Elders and Seniors during this time.

Please download PDF below for full information sheet on Community Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness During Covid 19 for Elders & Seniors

For Parents & Children

In First Nations culture, our children are our future and we all take care of the children. They are always close and we often teach them by modeling. When we connect in this way with our children, we create a sense of hope, belonging, meaning and purpose. There may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19 – it can be good to talk to them now, so they can understand the illness and be reassured. If you feel the child or young person is getting distressed through this conversation, reassure them, provide accurate information, and provide strategies on ways to manage their feelings.

Please download PDF below for full information sheet on Mental Wellness for Parents & Children

Mental Wellness During Covid-19 for Parents & Children

For Health Professionals

Helpers are an important part of First Nation communities. This is not always the medically trained helpers. There are spiritual helpers, medicine people and many other natural helpers that are using their skills to help community through this difficult time. As a community, it is imperative we work together to ensure our community wellness needs are met. Mental Wellness Teams and Crisis Response Teams are also working with health teams to ensure members needs are taken care of.

Health care workers experience additional challenges during infectious disease outbreaks, including concerns about the health of themselves and their family, stigma from within their communities, and managing the distress of those they are supporting.

In our communities, we can be challenged by limited staffing to be able to meet the demands of the community including gathering and disseminating credible information, supporting others such as colleagues and community members, ensuring access to necessary resources such as food and medicine, and addressing existing challenges of the community such as poverty or social issues. In some of our communities, we may be restricted by the geographical location of our community from scarcity of resources if we are isolated or remote or the added exposure of others in more urban communities that have high traffic.

Please download PDF below for full information sheet on mental wellness for Health Professionals

Mental Wellness During Covid-19 for Health Professionals



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