It takes all of us working together to create spaces where we can all heal together and thrive together. We talked to Sherry Fowler, Community Engagement Coordinator at Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, about how they create these spaces for the community.
Tell us about your organization.
Bent Arrow is committed to building on the strengths of Indigenous children, youth and families to enable them to walk proudly in two worlds both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous world.
Although Bent Arrow’s programs have Indigenous base to them, we welcome people of all races and backgrounds.
Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society has been serving Indigenous children, youth, and families in Edmonton and area since 1994.
The founders believed strongly that keeping culture at the centre was crucial and that this important work was best done in partnership.
Bent Arrow provides programming and services for all ages from pre-natal to seniors ensuring that we look at all programming to ensure we are providing a wholistic perspective encompassing the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of all participants.
How does your organization bring focus to mental health?
When looking at an individual’s mental health it is done from a wholistic standpoint ensuring we look at the whole person and what needs are not being met. A person who is struggling in one area may be struggling in all. Mental health supports may include but are not limited to: connection to community and culture through phone calls, video chats, social distance meetings, or meeting face-to-face (in a safe way) with an Elder.
We also offer onsite therapy/counselling sessions for participants of the programs offered at Bent Arrow.
What is one thing you would like the community to know about young people and mental health?
When we look at mental health just remember you are never alone. Many people struggle in silence, don’t be one of them. There are people out there who can help; you just have to let them. You are stronger than you think and braver than most, keep on being strong and talk to someone.