MMF Unveils new Mental Health Wellness Support Line for Métis Citizens

December 16, 2020

Winnipeg, MB in the Homeland of the Métis Nation - The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is pleased to announce the launch of a toll-free Mental Health Wellness Support Line, commencing today, December 16, 2020, that will operate from 7 am to 11 pm daily, with plans of eventually extending the Support Line to 24 hours a day. The service can be accessed by calling 1-833-390-1041.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges people are facing in everyday life as a result of hardships such as financial uncertainty and social isolation. Many individuals are experiencing increased mental anguish in addition to dealing with any pre-existing mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as an increase in alcohol and drug consumption.

"Since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MMF has been on the frontline, offering economic, social, and other supports to our Métis Elders, students, families, entrepreneurs, and vulnerable Citizens," commented MMF Minister of Health & Wellness, Frances Chartrand.

"Though mental health has always been a part of the strategy - from hampers to our wellness checks we have been conducting - we now have a dedicated line to support our Citizens," continued Minister Chartrand. "We hope that with this additional support, Métis Citizens will feel supported and comforted by their Métis Government and access this crucial resource."

The MMF emphasized that this service will be available to all MMF Citizens, including youth and Elders.

"Mental health issues do not discriminate on age," added Minister Chartrand. "Youth are adapting to distant learning and losing their extracurricular activities, and our Elders are also being forced to adapt to staying home and not being able to visit loved ones or go out and enjoy their favourite activities at Active Living Centres and Halls."

"The Métis Nation has always been a matriarchal nation and values the roles that women play in the workforce and household," added Infinity Women Secretariat (IWS) Spokeswoman, Anita Campbell. "The MMF and IWS want to encourage any of our Métis women that are experiencing the additional stresses caused by the pandemic to reach out and connect with our professionals."

The service, which is Métis-owned and operated, will offer MMF Citizens culturally appropriate mental health supports. The service will be confidential and offered in both English and French.

"The mental well-being of our Métis Citizens is a top priority for your Métis Government," stated MMF President, David Chartrand. "Social isolation and financial uncertainty have brought about new challenges and magnified existing mental health stresses that people face in their day-to-day life, and especially during the holiday season.

"We hope that with this service being Métis-owned and designed specifically for Métis Citizens, that more of our People will feel comfortable enough to reach out and seek the help that they need. We want all Citizens to remember that your Métis Government has your back before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic," concluded President Chartrand.

The Mental Health Wellness Support Line can be reached by calling, toll free, 1-833-390-1041 starting December 16, 2020.


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