Ka Pimthatek Pakthehnamoowin, a journey of hope in Island Lake, Manitoba

The Four Arrows Regional Health Authority collaborated with Save the Children to establish supports for children’s mental health, as a response to the August 2017 wildfires in three Island Lake First Nations communities and to help prepare the communities for any future potential disasters. It was observed that children were dealing with psychological distress from these fires. The partnership between Four Arrows Regional Health Authority and Save the Children organized training and workshops for frontline workers to improve their capacity in addressing children’s wellbeing during disasters. Skills such as psychological first-aid, crisis support for children, and “care for caregivers” were covered in these sessions. Additionally, backpacks full of emergency supplies were distributed to children that would be helpful in disaster situations. The evidence-based psycho-educational program aimed to improve the resilience of children, adolescents, and care givers, whilst preparing them for future emergencies.

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