The design, implementation and evaluation of Rural Mental Health project is being done collaboratively with strategic partnerships, to ground approaches in rural and indigenous worldviews. The principles that guide their work include being community-driven, building on existing strengths, using wholistic approaches, while considering the full lifespan of our communities. Their approach has two key elements:
Community Animators & Action Plans: Anchoring the project is the training of local Animators and the development Action Plans, through a community engagement process. Local community Animators in participating rural and remote communities are provided training and support. Training enables Animators to convene local stakeholders, including community members and elders, agencies, educators, and community associations, to collectively scan the current mental health and addictions landscape.
Rural Mental Health Network: A Rural Mental Health Network is connecting Animators and coalitions across Alberta. Together, communities can learn and share, while drawing on collective experience to identify existing capacity, systemic issues, and common themes in the rural mental health and community wellness landscape. Working together, communities can create new or better pathways to access existing corridors of care, facilitate shared learning, problem-solving, and emerging practice.