Daphne Hutt-MacLeod, Director of Mental Health Services
30 Medicine Trail
Eskasoni, Nova Scotia
F (902) 379-2905
The Eskasoni First Nation is a band government of the Mi’kmaq located alongside the Bras d’Or Lake on Eastern Cape Breton Island. The rural community has a population of approximately 3,752 on-Reserve and 660 off-Reserve and on other Reserves. The community is tight-knit with a rich cultural tradition and a growing young population. Eskasoni First Nation has been selected as one of the twelve sites across Canada to implement the ACCESS Open Minds project and will be assessing the long-term benefits for this community, as well as providing valuable feedback for transforming youth mental health services across the country.
Eskasoni’s journey to mental health wellness began with an amalgamation of services into Eskasoni Mental Health Services (EMHS) in 2010 and has led to many initiatives to improve services in the community. ACCESS Open Minds will build on what has already been learned and established through our collaborative model of care and will be implemented by all EMHS staff, not just the ACCESS clinician and research assistant.
Like the rest of the project, our site seeks to change the way youth access services, to engage young people in ways that improve individual well-being and the well-being of the community as a whole. This will be done through collaboration with youth, families, caregivers, community organizers, and service providers to ensure seamless access to care and to reduce gaps in services across organizations. This care will be delivered in youth-friendly ways based on the principles of inclusion, respect, participation, empowerment, and hope.