Expressing yourself is difficult, taking care of yourself and your friends is important and meeting people in your community that can help is key! These are the ideas that underlie our Peer Leader Mental Health program. This program was asked for by youth during our Umingmak Child and Youth Support Centre Feasibility Study, who stated they needed help dealing with trauma, both their own and their friends’. During the 3-day course, youth learn about historical, vicarious and personal trauma, ways to cope and express themselves and are connected with a strong peer network. They are also introduced to community members and role models who are there to help.
Recently, our Peer Leader Facilitator, Delma Autut, was in Cambridge Bay and will be traveling to Kugluktuk to deliver the program. In the future, we will be developing a Train the Trainer program and training local facilitators so that this program can be delivered year round by a local role model.