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Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program supported by Sun Life

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Photo credit: Jenna Mae Photography

Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program supported by Sun Life was developed by Indigenous educators, school counsellors and community program workers to empower First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth with skills, tools and resources to support their well-being. The program is offered to any group of Indigenous youth from six to 29 years old in both audio and video format.

The program is made possible by our lead donor, Sun Life, as well as many other generous supporters who are committed to empowering Indigenous communities.

About Brighter Days

The program begins with an introductory session that demystifies Kids Help Phone’s services and encourages help-seeking behaviours. Groups then have the option of selecting from a catalogue of wellness modules based on the priorities of their community. Each module starts with a video introduction featuring a trusted Indigenous Influencer Host such as former NHL player Jordin Tootoo. This is followed by a culturally safe and engaging session with a Kids Help Phone Indigenous Wellness Specialist. With each session, groups receive a package that includes a step-by-step booklet with fun and meaningful activities, resource materials and promotional gifts for youth participants.

Fill out the registration form here to get started!

You can email us at Indigenous@KidsHelpPhone.ca if you have questions about the program that aren’t answered in the FAQ below.

Please note that although the Indigenous Wellness Specialist who leads the session is a mental health professional, the program is not a counselling session. Young people looking for support can reach out to Kids Help Phone 24/7.

Kids Help Phone is working hard to ensure we’re doing everything we can to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis young people across Canada. We also respect the sovereignty and autonomy of Indigenous peoples. We encourage you to participate in and adapt the program to meet the unique needs of your community. If you have questions, or for more information, please contact us.

The program is delivered one of two ways: video (through your preferred video conferencing platform) or audio (over the phone).

• provide young people with skills, tools and resources to support their well-being
• increase awareness and understanding of Kids Help Phone services and other community resources
• foster relationships with Indigenous youth and communities
• encourage help-seeking behaviours and reduce stigma around mental health
• promote the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of Indigenous young people

Groups of First Nations, Inuit and Métis young people between the ages of six and 29 years old (Grade 1 through post-secondary) are eligible for the program. Participants can be any organized group of primarily Indigenous young people, including school classes or youth brought together for community programming. Youth are not required to be in the same physical location to participate.

Sessions are funded through generous donations and are currently available at no cost to communities. Groups also have the option of funding their own program sessions at a cost of $1,200 per session.

After you submit the registration form, an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator will email you to confirm your information and provide a calendar link, through which you can select a date and time for your session. Once the session is scheduled, we will mail you a welcome kit with a step-by-step program booklet including fun and meaningful activities, resources, evaluation forms and gifts for the youth participants (to be given out during the session). The Indigenous Engagement Coordinator will also ask you to schedule time for your Community Helper (an adult, such as a teacher, who will support the youth participants) to speak with the Indigenous Wellness Specialist to discuss the session in advance, answer any questions and enable the Wellness Specialist to customize the session for the group.

The program has three main parts:
1. Pre-session video: each module of the program begins with a short video featuring a trusted Indigenous influencer. The video in the introductory module features Jordin Tootoo and explains some of our services.
2. Virtual conversation with a Kids Help Phone Indigenous Wellness Specialist: sessions for Grade 6 through post-secondary range from 40 – 50 minutes in length, and sessions for Grade 1 through Grade 5 are divided into two, 30-minute segments.
3. Gifts and evaluation: at the end of the session, the Wellness Specialist shares that they have sent gifts for the youth participants and asks for them to be distributed. They will then ask participants to complete evaluation forms as they follow along with another video featuring Jordin Tootoo.

1. Wellness Specialist introduction
2. Icebreaker activity
3. Mental health discussion
4. Kids Help Phone services overview
5. Questions and answers
6. Community resources discussion
7. Closing message

The program's wellness modules focus on specific wellness topics. The first two, which focus on managing anxiety and self-care, will be available in January 2022. Two more modules, which focus on healthy relationships and child abuse, are scheduled for delivery in April 2022. We will release additional wellness modules on a regular basis. Once a group completes the introductory module, they will be invited to register for additional wellness modules with a suggested frequency of one module about every three months. Groups are not required to register for wellness modules, but if they choose to, they may select any available module from our catalogue.

As many as you like! Although the maximum number of participants per session is 50, the ideal group size is 15 – 30, so we encourage you to book multiple sessions for groups with more than 30 participants.

We advise you book your session four – five weeks in advance. That will allow enough time for your welcome kit to arrive (shipping times vary). If your group is in a state of crisis, our Indigenous Engagement Coordinator would be happy to work with you to expedite the session. Please note that we also have a limited number of time slots available, so early registration helps ensure you can select an ideal time for your group.

Simply fill out the program registration form here to get started!

Yes. If you’re a young person and would like to anonymously request a session for your group, please complete the request form below. The form will ask you to identify a Community Helper – this can be an adult in your community, like a teacher or a community program worker. After you submit the form, an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator will contact your Community Helper and offer to schedule a session with your group.
You can fill out the program youth registration form here to get started!