NORWAY HOUSE, MB, July 5, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Manitoba First Nations communities overcome the difficulties they are facing with respect to social conditions and health.
Today, after visiting First Nations communities in Manitoba, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced the Government of Canada will invest $50 million over the next two years to upgrade health facilities in Manitoba First Nations. The investments are part of the five-year, $270 million Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF) announced in Budget 2016.
The Manitoba projects will include new health facilities in Cross Lake First Nation, God's Lake Narrows First Nation, Lac Brochet First Nation and Red Sucker Lake First Nation. In addition three health facilities will benefit from upgrades: Sagkeeng First Nation's National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program treatment facility will undergo repairs and renovations, the Percy E. Moore Hospital will receive mechanical, HVAC and electrical system upgrades and SIF funding will cover design costs to replace Norway House Hospital's water plant, sewage facility and utilidor.
The Minister also announced that Health Canada will fund six new mental wellness teams within the next three years to support Manitoba First Nations. Additionally, a mental health crisis response team will be dedicated to Manitoba First Nations. Mental Wellness Teams are community–based teams which provide a comprehensive suite of culturally appropriate services that can include, but are not limited to: capacity-building, trauma informed care, land based care, early intervention and screening, aftercare, and care coordination with provincial and territorial services.
The additional mental wellness supports will be funded through the $69 million in interim national mental wellness supports the Prime Minister announced in June 2016. Nationally, that funding will support four mental health crisis response teams, up to 32 new mental wellness teams, training for community health workers and a culturally safe toll-free crisis line.
While in Cross Lake First Nation, the Minister met with community leaders and youth to learn more about their experiences accessing health services and supports. While in Norway House First Nation, she toured the Norway House hospital and met with community leaders to learn about their vision for health service integration, and their ideas for the future of health care in their community.
"I am thankful for the warm welcome and time extended to me by the leadership and members of Cross Lake and Norway House First Nations. Seeing the state of community health infrastructure and hearing concerns firsthand enables me to appreciate the tremendous value investments in health infrastructure upgrades will bring to their lives. Meeting with youth in Manitoba First Nations also helps me to better understand their perspectives, as well as how Health Canada programs might be adapted to better meet their needs. I am confident additional mental wellness teams will help address ongoing challenges in First Nations communities in Manitoba."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
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SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts: Christina Lazarova, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Federal Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, 613-957-2983, Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709