Facilitating Mental Health Literacy: Targeting Canadian First Nations Youth

  • Jacqueline T. Potvin-Boucher Athabasca University
  • Judi L. Malone Athabasca University/Charles Sturt University
Keywords: Mental Health Literacy, Aboriginal, Social Advocacy, Culture, Context


As reported rates of mental illness and suicide among Canadian First Nations youth continue to rise, counsellors are uniquely placed to contribute to mental health literacy. Development of contextually appropriate programs requires knowledge of the myriad of contributing factors including residual issues of colonization, discrimination, marginalization, and socioeconomic struggles that play pivotal roles in wellness and mental health risks. Given the potential contribution of such programs and the dearth of literature in this area, we reflect on what factors would contribute to facilitating or adapting existing mental health literacy programs to target Canadian First Nations youth. We explore ideas for integrating culture and context, youth engagement, and youth empowerment.

Author Biographies

Jacqueline T. Potvin-Boucher, Athabasca University
Jacqueline Potvin-Boucher is a student of Athabasca University pursuing her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology. She also holds a Bachelor of Design from NSCAD University and is currently pursing graduate studies with an interest in developing culturally appropriate tools for mental health education and counselling for youth.
Judi L. Malone, Athabasca University/Charles Sturt University
Judi L Malone is a Certified Canadian Counsellor and registered psychologist (AB/AUS). She is the Director of Education & Communications for the Psychologists Association of Alberta, is an existential feminist practitioner in rural private practice, and works with undergraduate and graduate counselling and psychology students. She is passionate about professional ethics, rural practice, health and wellness, and social advocacy.
How to Cite
Potvin-Boucher, J. T., & Malone, J. L. (2014). Facilitating Mental Health Literacy: Targeting Canadian First Nations Youth. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48(3). Retrieved from https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/60978
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