Youth Mental Health

Okanagan Nation Health Plan in 2010
Identified mental health as its number one health priority.

The Mental Health Cluster encompasses the Okanagan Nation Response Team (ONRT), R’Native Voice youth program, Kwu ˇxast children’s program, Syilx Indian Residential School Support Lead, Youth Wellness Coordinator and the Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Health (ACYMH) Coordinator. The goal is to strengthen communication and team work when addressing youth mental health concerns by offering Syilx-focused crisis, prevention and follow-up services and supports. By working as a team we are able to coordinate mental health service delivery, as well as promote mental health awareness to our Nation members.

Building upon existing projects, program and plans the ONA hired a Syilx Mental Health Lead who develops and implements innovative and action oriented Syilx Mental Health strategies; provides capacity building through current mental wellness research, Best Practices, support and training opportunities to the seven member communities of the Okanagan Nation. The Syilx Mental Health Lead is responsible for program development and supervision of the R’Native Voice, Kwu Xast, Child and Youth Wellness Coordinators, Syilx IRS Lead and Okanagan Nation Response Team.

The Syilx Mental health Lead works with the CFYH Services Manager and is part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s Wellness Team.

The function of the Mental Health Lead is to be responsible for coordinating and organizing Nationwide discussions, plans and strategies regarding mental wellness, incorporating Indigenous knowledge, beliefs, values, and best practices into program development and planning for direct input into the development of culturally appropriate service delivery for all our citizens.