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Spotlight on First Nations and Mental Health

As illustrated by the Medicine Wheel, mental health results from the balance of: Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional components of the wheel:
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· The White Nation sits at the North of the Wheel, and their gift to humankind is Mental, this is also where the Elders of the community sit;

· To the East is the Yellow Nation and their gift to humankind is Emotion. The Children also sit to the East and are taught by the Elders;

· The Red Nation sits at the South and their gift is Spirituality—they are the protectors of Mother Earth. The Youth, who are spirited, sit here and mentor the Children;

· To the West is the Black Nation, whose gift is the Physical. This is where Adults sit and mentor the Youth.

In the context of the Medicine Wheel, the impact of residential schools, for example, was to upset this balance which impacted on the children themselves, but on all members of the community as well. Any approach to mental health services, then has to reflect all of these parts of the community.

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