Wiky chosen to host new mental health, addictions unit

WIKWEMIKONG—Ngwaagan Gaming Recovery Centre Inc. (Rainbow Lodge) in Wikwemikong has been selected as one of five First Nations communities in the province to host an Ontario Community Wellness Development Team (CWDT) to provide mental health and addictions expertise and support to First Nations communities seeking help in addressing prescription narcotics addiction by blending traditional and cultural practices.

“Rainbow Lodge (Ngwaagan Gaming Recovery Centre Inc.) will be hosting the Community Wellness Development Team with funding through First Nations and Inuit Health and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care,” explained Ngwaagan Gaming executive director Rolanda Manitowabi. “Rainbow Lodge was requested to host the CWDT due to its recent participation in National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) renewal, modifying our treatment program approach to addictions treatment for polysubstance abuse.”

“We will be hosting one of the CWDT teams and will provide services for First Nation communities within the central Ontario area,” continued Ms. Manitowabi. “The team will consist of a coordinator, a mental health specialist and an addictions specialist. The team will assist, upon a request from the First Nation’s leadership, with facilitation of the development of an action plan to address prescription drug abuse in their community.”

Ms. Manitowabi revealed that the Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre Inc. will be recruiting one addictions and one mental health worker for the new fiscal year and expects to have the team fully operational by early spring.”

“The intent is that the team will facilitate a process within the community to assist with the development of a plan to address prescription drug abuse,” added Ms. Manitowabi. “This may mean enhanced collaboration, identifying community strengths, identifying gaps in services and/or structuring community recommendations along a continuum of care in addressing addictions, among many other possible benefits. The belief is that the community itself has the answers to address the issues surrounding prescription drug abuse. The team would be of assistance with the development of that plan.”

Robin Burridge

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