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Health Support Services Offered to Independent Assessment Process (IAP) Claimants
Health and other supports
Health Canada's Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) provides mental health and emotional support services to former Indian Residential School students and their families before, during and after their participation through all phases of the Settlement Agreement, so that they may safely address a broad spectrum of mental wellness issues related to the disclosure of childhood abuses. In British Columbia, the services are provided by the First Nations Health Authority.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Resolution and Individual Affairs Sector funds the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support service operated by trained Aboriginal crisis counselors.
The Indian Residential School’s Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) ensures that Health Canada is aware of dates for IAP hearings so that health supports are available to claimants as soon as possible in the process, with the claimant’s preference considered.
What services are provided by the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program?
The Resolution Health Support Program components include: cultural support services provided by Elders; emotional support services provided by Resolution Health Support Workers (RHSWs); professional counseling provided by psychologists and social workers registered with Health Canada; and assistance with the cost of transportation to access counselingand/or Traditional Healer services when not locally available.
- Emotional Support: Services are provided by Aboriginal organizations located in communities and are designed to help former students and their families safely address issues related to the Indian Residential Schools as well as the disclosure of abuse during the Settlement Agreement process. The Aboriginal mental health workers, known as Resolution Health Support Workers (RHSWs), will listen, talk and guide former students and their family members through all phases of the Settlement Agreement process.
- Cultural Support: Cultural supports are provided by Aboriginal organizations located in communities who coordinate the services of Elders and/or traditional healers. Cultural supports seek to assist students and their families in safely addressing issues related to the Indian Residential Schools as well as the disclosure of abuse during the Settlement Agreement process. Specific services are determined by the needs of the individual and include dialogue, ceremonies, prayers, or traditional healing. Cultural Support Providers are available to provide emotional support during all aspects of the IAP process as well.
- Professional Counselling: Professional counsellors are psychologists and social workers who are registered with Health Canada and have experience working with Aboriginal people. A professional counsellor will listen, talk and assist former students to find ways of healing from Indian Residential Schools experiences.
- Transportation: Offered when professional counselling and Traditional Healer services are not locally available.
What is the role of Health Support Workers at an IAP Hearing?
Health Support Workers can provide former Indian Residential School students and their families with emotional support before, during, and after the hearing. Claimants have the right to have a health support worker attend the hearing. Health support workers can help claimants deal with the emotions that may come up during the hearing.
When can a Claimant have access to Health Support Workers?
Claimants may contact a health support worker for themselves and their family, either in person or by telephone at anytime throughout the IAP. Claimants can begin working with a health support worker before their hearing to help them prepare. It is strongly recommended that health support workers meet and have a relationship with the self-represented and represented former students well before the hearing date. Health support workers would be much better positioned to provide the necessary emotional support to claimants if they have the opportunity to meet the claimants prior to their hearings. Claimants can request health support services at any point during the IAP, not just during the hearing itself.
Accessing health support services
To access health support services and for more information, please call the provincial/territorial toll-free line:
|Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island||1-866-414-8111|
|Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut||1-800-464-8106|
Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Former Indian Residential School (IRS) students may call the IRS Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support services operated by trained Aboriginal crisis counselors. The toll-free telephone number provides access to emotional and crisis referral services in both French and English. Counselors can also provide information about accessing other health supports available to claimants.