A new initiative of weekly men’s group sessions has begun to provide support to Cheslatta Carrier Nation men who struggle with addiction and mental health problems.
Cheslatta Youth Support Worker Trenis Cahoose is running the project and has been working with Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) Men’s Wellness Coordinator Brian Clyne.
“Our plan is to make a place to come hang out, have lunch, just be comfortable,” Cahoose told Lakes District News. “We wanted to focus on the men that are struggling with addiction and mental health, and give them a safe space to talk, and get general help in anything they need support with.”
Clyne says it is gratifying to get the program up and running in the face of challenges.
“We are excited for the opportunity to progress with this work,” he said. “COVID-19 has been a challenge for all group-basedprograms, and for the men’s wellness program this has been compounded with challenges with technology and accessing communications with men. Our colleagues in Cheslatta Carrier Nation, as well as our staff have been working hard for many months to get programming to men in place, and we are enthusiastic to progress further beside our brothers.”
CSFS Director of Communications Andrea Palmer told Lakes District News groups such as these are funded through a combination of funding from CSFS, the Dude’s Club and Cheslatta Carrier Nation itself.
The money went toward the facilities where the group will be hosted, which includes a ping pong table, Foosball table and various other games and activities, and also has a working kitchen in it. The lunches will be prepared by Cahoose.
“Carrier Sekani Family Services has been involved with the men’s wellness program for almost five years with funding and staff support,” said Palmer. “Building confidence in a group like this requires relationship building and trust as we work to ensure the safety of the men participating. This includes supporting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. These groups help to fulfill the needs of guys.”
“We are committed to minimizing any risk of COVID-19 while still strengthening our men and providing these opportunities to connect and build brotherhood. We encourage all men to explore the groups and rekindle old friendships as well as work on building new connections.”
The group sessions will be held at a new property recently acquired by Cheslatta called the History House, which is located right next to the Cheslatta Training Centre in Southbank. The first session was held on Jan. 12.
“To start, we have one more session planned for the rest of January, and from there we’re hoping to make it into a weekly thing, we’re working our way towards that,” said Cahoose.
For more information on the group follow the Cheslatta Carrier Nation Facebook page.
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