Mental Health & Wellness
Oki! Many Siksika Nation members have underlying mental health issues that contribute to addictions. With a dual diagnosis approach, clients are screened and assessed for co-occurring disorders, and integrated treatment plans are developed for clients that present with this co-occurrence. Research indicates that if the mental health issue is not addressed in treatment, the likelihood of them relapsing is high.
To contact Siksika Mental Health & Community Wellness, call 403-734-5687
Hours of operation are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
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Mental Health & Addictions Operational & Advisory Committee:
The Operational & Advisory Committee is responsible for implementing Siksika Health Services’ (SHS) mental health and addictions strategy, recommending and making strategic and operational decisions, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization’s mental health and addictions activities. The Operational & Advisory Committee will implement a coordinated and integrated addiction and mental health treatment system, including prevention, continuum of care, and after care; will play a significant role in informing and advising on strategic initiatives; and will provide recommendations and advice based on insights and expertise to SHS’ Executives, Board of Directors and Siksika Nation Leadership.
Mental Health Services
To contact Siksika Mental Health Services, contact 403-734-5660.
Hours of operation are 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday.
Need to talk? Siksika Mental Health therapists can be easily reached by phone. Call 403-734-5660 between 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday to speak with a trained therapist. This is a safe and confidential service.
Mental Health Therapists
Siksika Mental Health Therapists provide therapeutic support to clients dealing with a broad range of mental health issues, including addictions. The therapists focus on helping a client address their grief, loss and trauma.
In Siksika Health Services’ Biofeedback Lab, individuals learn how to easily release tension and stress in their mind and body. Biofeedback is a learning tool that can help a person gain awareness and control over how their body functions, including the bodily responses that they might not be aware of, by using software and sensors. These sensors read an individual’s body functions such as heart rate, breathing, and brainwaves, all of which can fluctuate depending on their state of mind.
Crisis and Victim Services
Siksika Crisis & Victim Services provides 24/7 support for people experiencing mental health crisis, suicidal ideation putting themselves or others at risk, and psychosis. The Crisis Team completes an initial assessment and directs clients to the appropriate departments for follow-up. Siksika Crisis is accessible 24/7, including evenings and weekends.
Contact 403-734-2596 at anytime to reach a Siksika Crisis Team member.
Land Based Therapy Program
Emerging therapeutic approaches known as “ecopsychology” or “horticulture therapy” are actually very well aligned with ancient Siksika beliefs and practices. This therapeutic approach helps harmonize an individual’s relationship with the earth, and bond with nature in a good way. Siksika people were once connected with the land, animals, cosmos and each other. The causes of disconnection are historical, contemporary and cross-generational. It’s time we restore this balance by rebuilding our relationship with the land and animals.
Many studies suggest nature has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Recent research suggests that when people experience nature through senses other than sight, this can result in mental health benefits. For example, individuals who have been exposed to nature sounds versus man made sounds recovered more quickly from psychological stress; others inhaled food and fruit fragrances, and reported reduced depressive moods. Other studies suggest that when children and youth are exposed to a green environment and the presence of animals, they display fewer symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), aggression, and agitation.
Through Siksika Health Services’ land-based therapy programs, these are among the outcomes we hope to achieve.
Cultural Therapeutic Services
This program focuses on connecting individuals who want to receive therapeutic support from elders, society members or spiritual leaders.
Mental Health & Physical Activity
At Siksika Health Services, our mental health and physical recreation programs work closely together to maximize the benefits for Siksika Nation members.
Over time, science has helped people better understand the chemicals in our brain, and how balance of these chemicals can be achieved. Each day, peoples’ brains release chemicals known as dopamine and endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Mental Health issues and substance abuse disrupts the happiness-inducing chemicals such as dopamine. Physical activity and good nutrition help restore these chemicals, and boost the presence of these chemicals, to increase positive mood and motivation overall. Some research has proven that exercise and physical activity, such as boxing, increases the production of endorphins – the neurotransmitters that create feel-good thoughts.
For more about Siksika Health Services’ physical activity and recreational activities, visit the Parks & Recreation page.
To contact Siksika Community Wellness, contact 403-734-5687
Hours of operation are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
Siksika Nation’s primary provider of health & wellness promotion and prevention services, Community Wellness offers comprehensive and holistic mental, physical, spiritual and emotional support to community members and clients.
Siksika Community Wellness provides programs and services that enhance overall holistic wellbeing, including illness prevention and health promotional initiatives, with a focus on cultural and spiritual programs. Community Wellness works with all demographics, and implements programs specific to that age group, need and participation level. Our teams utilize a multi-disciplinary approach, and partners with Siksika Nation departments and outside agencies/organizations whenever possible for shared impact.
Support for Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The aim is to support survivors, family members and those affected by the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG) to have access to appropriate mental wellness and cultural support services. Staff capacity is being developed through training focused on grief and loss, ambiguous loss, and the importance of aftercare. Siksika community members who have been impacted directly or indirectly are followed up with to ensure they are receiving mental wellness and cultural supports.
This initiative launched with a community engagement session in January 2019, which brought together shareholders from across Siksika Nation to plan and coordinate support services for those impacted directly and indirectly by MMIWG within Siksika Nation. In addition to Siksika Nation departments and services, collaborating agencies include: Family Information Liaison Unit (FILU), Provincial Coordinator for Missing Persons, Project KARE/RCMP, AWARE 360 and Not in My City.
Hope Squad is a school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention program. Hope squad is an evidence-based program that reduces youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention. Hope Squad members are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers and trained by advisors.
The purpose of this program is to improve access and availability to appropriate prevention services for youth who are at risk for suicide. The Hope Squad Program functions as a peer support team. The goal is to provide friendship, encouragement, and support for students who may be struggling.
Hope Squad members strive to: create a safe school environment, promote connectedness, support anti-bullying, encourage mental wellness, reduce mental health stigma and prevent substance misuse.
The Hope Team was developed to support our Honoring Life program, which focuses on suicide prevention. The team’s focus is on providing Hope in the community. Hope is a desired expectation of a desired outcome. It is a principle that can’t be attained in the present moment, but provides motivation for a desired future outcome. Hope is key to our existence, to our ability to persevere and to achieve goals. Research shows hope is key to our physical and mental well-being and that it can promote healthy lifestyle decisions.
Through events just like this one, an important message is shared: there is strength in community.
The Covid 19 Pandemic has put a strain on us all, both mentally and physically. Some people may have felt despair because they are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there is hope! The Hope Team’s vision is to provide hope for those struggling during these unprecedented times. Our Hope is to promote connectedness, support anti-bullying, encourage mental wellness, reduce mental health stigma, and prevent substance misuse. Our objective isto provide friendship, encouragement, and support for community members who may be struggling and to improve access and availability to appropriate prevention services for youth who are at risk for suicide.
Hope has been proven to boost a person’s well-being both in spirit and body. If you are struggling, please reach out to the Hope Team.
Run as One Youth Awareness Week
The annual “Run as One” Youth Awareness Week is one of many significant events that Siksika Health Services hosts for the Siksika Nation community. The “Run as One” includes a blend of arts, culture, and health programming and activities, predominantly oriented towards youth and young adults. The music festival is part of Siksika Nation’s annual “Run as One” youth awareness week, which began as a local initiative – for youth, by youth – in 2004. The 2021 year marked the 17th Annual Run as One Music Festival, making it one of the longest running Indigenous music festivals in Canada.
To contact Siksika Addictions Services, call 403-734-5687.
Hours of operation are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
Our Addictions Treatment model integrates cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational interviewing to give individuals seeking recovery the skills and knowledge they need to address addiction issues they may be experiencing.
Addictions Services at Siksika Health incorporate harm reduction tools to support recovery and relapse. This includes supports to access detox, treatment options and individual/group counseling, as related to addictions:
- Treatment Readiness
The program prepares clients to access treatment options pre/post treatment, to assist with recovery from substance abuse. Program incorporates harm reduction tools to support recovery and relapse. This includes support to access detox, treatment options and individual/group counseling, as related to addictions.
- Pre-Treatment Matrix Program
An 8-week pre-treatment program based on the Matrix model. This program is offered to the community 3 times per year; referrals can be made year-round.
- Post-Treatment (aftercare) Matrix Program
A 16-week post-treatment adult program, based on the Matrix model. This program is offered year-round.
Opioid Response Team
The Opioid Response Team coordinates a comprehensive response to opioid use and addiction for Siksika Nation members. The team works to reduce the number of individuals addicted to opioids, reduce overdoses and fatalities, mitigate youth and family trauma, and provide community/staff education and awareness. The primary goal of this team is prevention and intervention.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program integrates a holistic approach towards the prevention, intervention and education of FASD. The goals of the program are to:
- minimize the impact on children born with FASD;
- provide a comprehensive multi-disciplinary Diagnostic Clinic for Siksika Nation members (ages 6+);
- provide aftercare services for children and adults who are given an FASD diagnosis; and
- provide awareness and education workshops/services to the community about FASD.