Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

SOCIAL CONDITIONS

Substance Abuse Intervention

Program name:

Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Mamisarvik Healing Centre

Organization:

Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Mamisarvik Healing Centre

Location:

Ottawa, Ontario

Target Group:

Men and Women (ages 18 and over)

Contact Name:

Reception

Phone:

613-563-3546

Email:

mhc@tungasuvvingatinuit.ca

Website:

www.tungasuvvingatinuit.ca

Program Overview
History:

The program began offering addictions treatment services to Inuit living in Ottawa in 2002 and proceeded to open a full residential treatment program in 2003. The Mamisarvik Healing Centre was developed and implemented to address issues of substance abuse, addictions, residential school impacts and related underlying traumas that are experienced by many Inuit.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To implement and deliver a high-quality residential addictions treatment and healing program that embraces and reflects Nunavut Inuit culture and values and supports Inuit clients, their families and communities and reduces the harms caused by alcohol, drugs and traumatic life events, including violence and abuse.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

This programming aims to increase clients' pride in their cultural identity, their awareness of Inuit history and how this history has affected them personally, their families, communities and culture. The tools used to deliver the Inuit history program are educational materials and presentations, videos, movies and guest speakers. The material delivered provides information to increase the clients' understanding of what has happened to Inuit society in a very short period of time and to relate it to issues of personal and collective trauma and cultural loss. It creates opportunities to place this into a sociological context that makes sense of the larger historical processes that have had such profound impacts on Inuit society and the individuals within it. By presenting information, having group discussion and sharing of experiences, clients begin to understand why their communities and families have experienced the problems that they have and can build and enhance pride in being Inuk and in Inuit culture.

Components of program:

The Mamisarvik Healing Centre operates on a 24/7 year round basis providing continuous intake and assessment services, a culturally relevant residential addictions treatment programming and a continuing care program. Residential treatment programming runs on 53-day cycle and is provided to 15 individuals (co-ed) in each treatment cycle. Separate groups operate once a week in order for the women to feel safe and for the men to begin to address their abusive behaviours. One to one counselling is available for women or men. The center offers evidence-based, holistic, culturally relevant treatment services that include a comprehensive standardized assessment of each client, therapeutic cultural programming, individualized treatment plans and continuing care plans. Residential programming is delivered through a combination of group and individual counselling. Qualified staff with clinical training and experience deliver the treatment program. Service is provided primarily by Inuit staff and is available in both Inuktitut and English.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Government of Nunavut; City of Ottawa; and the Department of Health Canada.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The Board of Directors of Tungasuvvingat Inuit are all Inuit.

Partners:

See website.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured against the feedback given by the clients and the community.

Achievements:

The program is the only Inuit specific treatment centre in Canada. Hiring Inuit staff has been a major accomplishment.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. The program has been unable to meet the needs of all Inuit seeking treatment. The waiting list is very long.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. No advice given.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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