The investment will be over a 3 year period
The Manitoba government is providing more than $825,000 over three years to Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. (AHWC) to deliver an outreach program that gives intensive support to people who are pregnant or have recently had a baby and use substances, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Through the Insight Mentoring Program, women are able to build and maintain healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies,” said Squires. “Our government is proud to continue to support this evidence-based program, which addresses the complex social factors that can contribute to alcohol use during pregnancy in a supportive and non-judgmental way.”
The Insight Mentoring Program is voluntary and focuses on personalized care and support to bring about gradual, lasting changes. Participants are assigned mentors who provide support for up to three years including connections to addictions programming as well as health-care and housing resources.
“AHWC appreciates the Manitoba government’s ongoing financial support,” said Della Herrera, executive director, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. “This funding allows us to provide holistic traditional wrap-around services that benefit the women and their families we support in our Insight program.”
Mentors are responsive to participants’ needs and build on their strengths. Those who relapse or experience setbacks are not asked to leave the program. Insight uses trauma-informed and harm-reduction practices, and has been proven effective in reducing the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy in participants.
Squires noted AHWC will receive $275,200 annually for three years, and said the funding will support three full-time mentors and one full-time senior mentor as well as other program operating costs.
AHWC provides the program to participants in Winnipeg who self-identify as Indigenous and the centre provides Indigenous cultural supports to its clients as an integral part of its service model. Wrap-around service delivery models that incorporate cultural programming and culturally safe care are considered best-practice approaches to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) prevention initiatives in Canada.
“It is important that mothers have the proper support both before and after pregnancy,” said Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon. “This can be a particularly stressful time, and connecting parents with the proper services can increase the mental and physical health of not only the mother, but also the child.”
The 2012 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls upon the federal, provincial and territorial governments to recognize as a high priority the need to address and prevent FASD and to develop, in collaboration with Indigenous people, FASD prevention programs that can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.
“Our government is committed to providing increased supports, resources and health services in our province,” said Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. “We recognize the importance of continuing to work in collaboration with Indigenous health experts, service providers and community partners to ensure that we identify, support and implement culturally relevant and safe programs and practices.”
The Insight Mentoring Program has sites in Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Dauphin, The Pas, Flin Flon and Thompson. For more information on the program, visit www.gov.mb.ca/fs/fasd/insight.html.