OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2018 /CNW/ - Future physicians from across Canada will meet with over 70Members of Parliament, Senators and policy advisors today on Parliament Hill, to urge the government to strengthen its response to the Indigenous mental health and suicide crisis.
Three years after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation
Despite a clear need for urgent investment in mental health and suicide prevention, Indigenous peoples in Canada continue to experience some of the largest health and socioeconomic disparities in the developed world. Access to high-quality, culturally-safe mental health care remains limited in Indigenous communities.
As tomorrow's physicians and health care leaders, the medical students of Canada call on the government to urgently address the Indigenous mental health and suicide crisis in this country.
The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) urges the Government of Canada to:
The CFMS looks forward to working with the Government of Canada towards building a strong Indigenous mental health and wellness strategy that is responsive to community needs. This strategy should have culture as its foundation; foster community development, ownership, and capacity building; promote Indigenous self-determination; provide quality care and competent service delivery; encourage partnerships and collaboration; and ensure effective and efficient allocation of resources.
"Medical students from across Canada consulted extensively with Indigenous leaders and health experts in developing these policy recommendations," says Charles Yin, MD-PhD student at Western University and National Day of Action Research Committee Chair. "Without the input of Indigenous communities this Day of Action would not have been possible."
QUOTATIONS FROM THE CFMS:
"Three years after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report, government action to address the Indigenous mental health and suicide crisis is well past due. As future physicians, we have a duty to advocate for the health of all Canadians. We sincerely hope to demonstrate a strong, meaningful, and respectful effort to advocate for Indigenous mental wellness as allies of the Indigenous peoples of Canada."- Henry Annan, CFMS President
"As medical students, we are advocates and allies in Canada's reconciliation efforts. The CFMS underwent an extensive national consultation process with Indigenous leaders and experts in mental health and wellness, and built longitudinal relationships with multiple Federal Ministerial offices. There is a need for continued action and dialogue on Indigenous health issues in Canada, and for these to be addressed in Canadian medical education."- Yipeng Ge, CFMS Vice President Government Affairs
"As a Métis medical student, I could not be more proud of the steps that Canadian medical students and the CFMS are taking to better understand Indigenous health and knowledge systems. This is the first year medical students will address an Indigenous health issue on their annual Day of Action, but I am certain it will not be the last. I look forward to sharing the vision and goals put forward by Indigenous organizations and community leaders for fostering mental wellness, alongside other passionate Indigenous and non-Indigenous medical student allies." - Amanda Sauvé, CFMS National Officer of Indigenous Health (2016-17)
ABOUT THE CFMS:
The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) is the national organization representing over 8,000 medical students at 15 medical schools across Canada. Tomorrow's physicians leading for health today.
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#IndigenousMentalWellness / #BienętreMentalAutochtone
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS)
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