Indigenous groups in B.C. get mental health funding for residential school survivors

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VANCOUVER — Three Indigenous organizations in British Columbia have received $1.5 million to support the mental health needs of residential school survivors and their families.

The money is part of $12 million in funding the province announced in June after the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of more than 200 children at the site of the former residential school in Kamloops.

Murray Rankin, the minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, says Indigenous service providers have reported a dramatic increase in demand for mental health support since that discovery was reported.

Rankin says it's a time of reckoning in B.C. and across Canada that requires all governments and society as a whole to recognize the truth of the country's colonial system and stand with Indigenous people.

The groups receiving the funding include the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, which will use it to enhance a round-the-clock support line, as well as the Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, so it can provide more in-person health and wellness.

Métis Nation BC has also received funding specific to the needs of Métis survivors, who will get 10 free counselling sessions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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