Big Worries

Big Worries

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Illustration by Jamin Zuroski, a Namgis First Nations Artist residing in Victoria, BC

About the We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears, Parent/Caregiver Support Program

The We Are Indigenous: Big Worries, Strong Spirit Program is a no cost telephone and computer based coaching program serving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit families across BC whose children aged 3-12 are experiencing mild to moderate big worries/fears (anxiety). 

This pilot program includes Indigenous perspectives and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) concepts and activities. The program content was initially developed by an Indigenous advisory group called Caring In All Directions.

Our team consists of an Intake Coordinator, Coaches, a Program Lead, a Program Manager, and clinicians who provide clinical oversight. The majority of our team are Indigenous people as we know that we as Indigenous people may have distinct lived and community experiences, as well as face specific barriers to mental health and well-being services and resources. We strive to relationally center, respect, and uphold Indigenous people, children, and families.

Referral & Intake Process  

Referrals from a physician, nurse practitioner, teacher or school counsellor, early childhood educator, Child & Youth Mental Health (CYMH) clinician or Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Health (ICYMH) clinician are accepted via fax or email. 

Download a Referral Form.

Once fully completed referrals are submitted our Intake Coordinator directly contacts families to schedule an intake interview where families share about their strengths, their child’s experiences with big worries (anxiety), and are given information about program parameters, content, and structure. 

After the intake interview is completed, and if the program is appropriate for the family, the parent/caregiver is matched with a coach and a first coaching session is scheduled.

Program Structure 

The We are Indigenous: Big Worries, Strong Spirit program duration ranges from 7-15 weeks. This is because we center parent/caregivers’ availability, as well as match relevant program content with individual families. 

After the initial telephone introductions with a coach, coaches release videos for parent/caregivers to watch and activities to practice before each weekly or biweekly session. Coaching sessions are structured to explore program content and ideas, make connections to family experiences, and uphold family and child strengths as they navigate big worries. 

A Note on Coach Role

Coaches are supportive and culturally aware professionals who provide strength-based support to interactively explore tangible program ideas and activities that may fit and be implemented by each individual family. Coaches are not counsellors and do not provide counselling sessions. They offer solution focused suggestions and use motivational skills to walk alongside families while they are participating in our program. 

Additional information: 

Thank you for your interest in the We Are Indigenous: Big Worries, Strong Spirit program! If, after exploring our website and below links you have any program specific questions unanswered, please email: bigworriesstrongspirit@cmha.bc.ca

• View the We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears, Parent/Caregiver Support Program brochure

Program FAQ

Program funding provided by the Province of British Columbia

About the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that promotes mental health for all. CMHA responds to the unique needs of each community through experience and expertise on community-based services and supports. CMHA BC provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to promote mental health, support recovery and resilience, and enable all in British Columbia to flourish and thrive.

Learn more at www.cmha.bc.ca