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N.S. gives $350,000 to help support mental health, addictions services for Mi'kmaq people

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The Nova Scotia government is providing a one-time payment of $350,000 to the Eskasoni Crisis and Referral Centre to help support mental health and addictions-related services for Mi'kmaq people across the province.

The centre in Eskasoni, N.S., provides 24-hour crisis intervention and referral services in both the Mi'kmaq and English languages. Services are offered over the phone, online, and in-person to people living in Mi'kmaq communities.

"Providing better access to mental health services includes receiving culturally appropriate care in a language that is known and is familiar to those reaching out for help," said Brian Comer, the minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health.

"The Eskasoni Crisis and Referral Centre is a great example of supports built for community by the community. We are happy to be able to support the tremendous work being led by the centre, which I believe will lead to better mental health outcomes for the people of Eskasoni and members of Mi'kmaw communities across the province."

The province says the funding, which was announced Tuesday, will help support services that:

  • improve the well-being of community members
  • reduce stigma around accessing mental health services
  • reduce the incidence of suicide
  • help support harm reduction practices
  • connect individuals and families with mental health services

Eskasoni First Nation Chief Leroy Denny says he is grateful for the funding.

"It will provide much needed funding to continue our mission to improve the well-being of community members, improve access to mental health services, help support those dealing with addiction, and provide immediate in the moment Mi'kmaw appropriate response to those in crisis 24 hours a day 365 days a year," he said.

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