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Indspire and CAMH announce partnership to support Indigenous youth with culturally responsive mental health resources and events

July 22, 2022.

TORONTO, ON – Indspire is thrilled to announce a new and exciting partnership with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to develop culturally relevant educational resources and events for Indigenous learners.

The collaboration will connect Indspire’s extensive network of Indigenous youth with Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) and Shkaabe Makwa, two initiatives run through CAMH. The aim is to utilize the expertise within the networks to support the mental health and wellness of youth aged 12 to 29 with culturally responsive instruction and approaches. Resources and events will be shared through Indspire’s Rivers to Success (R2S) program and other channels.

Indspire’s Rivers to Success program, with three unique streams (high school, post-secondary, and career transition) and customized cultural resources, provides a strong support system to ensure the sustained success of Indigenous students as they graduate and go on to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“Indspire is pleased to be able to collaborate with a world-class leader in mental health research, CAMH, to deliver culturally relevant and supportive mental health resources,” said Indspire’s President and CEO Mike DeGagné. “Through our Rivers to Success mentorship program, we aim to support learners not only with mentorship, but also with resources to prepare them for wherever they are on their educational journey.”

Indspire’s Mental Health Initiative is supported by The Slaight Family Foundation. With Indspire leading the initiative, YWHO, a network of integrated youth hubs, will support the distribution and implementation of the educational resources at local sites across Ontario.

“We are very pleased to partner with Indspire to support the creation of these youth mental health resources. The voices of Indigenous youth and organizations are central to the development of appropriate and effective resources for Indigenous youth,” said YWHO’s Executive Director Dr. Joanna Henderson. “It’s a great privilege for YWHO to have the opportunity to work in partnership with a number of Indigenous organizations, communities, youth and families to learn about and support culturally-appropriate services for Inuit, Métis and First Nations youth.”

CAMH’s Shkaabe Makwa will support the development of the resources, coordinate knowledge exchange, and ensure Indigenous youth engagement is incorporated at every step.

“Shkaabe Makwa is committed to supporting Indigenous youth by amplifying their voices so it is an honour to be invited to work alongside Indspire and YWHO to facilitate these youth-led endeavours,” said Shkaabe Makwa’s Director of Wellness Innovation Laura Gagnon. “These young warriors are leading the development of wellness resources and I couldn’t be more proud of all who are involved.”

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About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2021-2022, Indspire provided more than $23 million through 6,612 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students across Canada.

About The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

About Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO)

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) is a network of 22 local hubs that provide integrated services co-designed with youth for youth in communities across the province. Since 2017, YWHO was established to address gaps in the youth mental health and substance use service system by providing fully integrated “one-stop shops” for youth aged 12-25, addressing needs related to mental health, substance use, primary care, education, employment, housing, peer support, outreach, system navigation, and other community and social programming. Through a commitment to rapid and low-barrier access, early and evidence-based interventions, equitable and culturally effective services, and meaningful youth and family engagement, YWHO is taking a critical step forward to improve Ontario’s youth mental health system.

About Shkaabe Makwa

Shkaabe Makwa is the Centre for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Wellness at CAMH that supports culturally relevant systems and initiatives to achieve health equity and community wellness in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and service providers across Ontario. Through the implementation of wise practices, evidence-based models, trauma-informed interventions, and the advancement of research, Shkaabe Makwa strives to transform health outcomes which harmonize traditional knowledge and medical expertise.

For media interviews, photos and more information, please contact:

Indspire Media Relations Contact
Brandon Meawasige
Director, Communications and Marketing

CAMH Media Relations Contact
Hayley Chazan
Manager, Media Strategy
@CAMHNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

YWHO Media Relations Contact
Stephanie La Brie
Senior Communications Advisor
@YWHOntario on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter