Advancing Equity to Strengthen the First Nations Mental Wellness Workforce

March 20, 2024

In December 2024, the Canadian federal government launched a consultation process aimed at gathering insights to shape the 2024 federal budget. Responding to this call, FPWC prepared a pre-budget submission to advocate for fiscal changes aimed at advancing equity for the First Nations Mental Wellness Workforce and furthering the self-determination and self-governance of First Nations people and communities across the country.

The Need for Enhanced Support

Mental Wellness Workforces in Indigenous communities find themselves navigating a landscape of limited resources and insecure funding. These gaps are especially concerning when compared to the resources available to Western/mainstream organizations in equivalent positions. These disparities underscore the urgent need for a shift towards equitable funding and support for Indigenous health and mental wellness professionals.

FPWC’s Recommendations

Our submission puts forward three recommendations designed to address critical areas of need within the Indigenous health and wellness sector:

Recommendation 1

We call on the federal government to provide additional funding to support health human resources for the First Nations mental wellness workforce. This includes funding to ensure wage parity, equitable working conditions, and the creation of culturally safe practices and standards.

Recommendation 2

We call on the federal government to provide equitable funding and resources in order to protect the scope of work of the mental wellness workforce.

Recommendation 3

We call on the federal government to prioritize providing Indigenous-led organizations with equitable funding and resources to lead and promote culturally relevant and safe mental wellness care and services within and across First Nations communities.

Looking Ahead

As the federal government considers its budget allocations for 2024, FPWC’s submission presents a clear case for prioritizing the needs of the Mental Wellness Workforce in First Nations and Indigenous communities. These recommendations work to help amend historical inequities and advance the mental wellness and health of Indigenous communities.

We invite our readers, allies, and partners to explore the full details of our recommendations and join us in advocating for these critical changes. Together, we are making an impact on the landscape of Indigenous health and mental wellness in Canada.