U of S researchers launch Indigenous mental health hub

SASKATOON - A research group at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), along with Indigenous colleagues and community partners across Canada, has launched a new initiative to examine mental wellness issues among Canada's first peoples—First Nations, Métis and Inuit—who have experienced depression, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The First Peoples-First Person Indigenous Hub will play a central research, policy and knowledge dissemination role in partnering with Indigenous peoples of Canada to realize the potential for improvements in wellness, healing, mental health, and addictions supports and services.

"The goal of the Indigenous Hub is to build a comprehensive national research and intervention network based on Indigenous intelligence, which is the wise and conscientious embodiment of exemplary knowledge and the use of culture-based knowledge," said Caroline Tait, a psychiatry professor in the College of Medicine and co-leader of the hub. "This is a beneficial and meaningful way to promote wellness, guide research strategies, and ultimately develop interventions to prevent and treat depression, and other forms of mental illness and distress."

The hub, which officially launches Wednesday, Oct. 21, is part of the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network (CDRIN), a cross-Canada network with the mission to create and share knowledge that leads to more effective prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of depression and depression-linked illnesses.

Tait added that the name "First Peoples-First Person" is reflective of the value of the network to Indigenous peoples, historically situating them as the original peoples of Canada. First person reflects the privileging of Indigenous voices—culturally, historically and geographically.

More information about the hub can be found on their Facebook page: facebook.com/firstpeoplesfirstperson


For more information, contact:
Ryan Jimmy
First Peoples, First Person
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
306-966-2805 (office); 306-717-5276 (cell)
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