Regional Wellness Response Program

Building capacity to develop community-driven responses and improve health for present and future generations.

What is the Regional Wellness Response Program? 

In recent years, there was an emergence and steady increase of prescription drug abuse and associated harms, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne infections (BBIs), in First Nation communities in the Sioux Lookout region.

Increased drug abuse resulted in increased needle usage and sharing, high-risk behaviour, and increased reports of STIs and BBIs such as Hepatitis C.

In 2011, First Nation leaders in the Sioux Lookout area directed SLFNHA to develop a Regional Opiate Drug Abuse Strategy. Two interrelated priority areas identified to tackle were substance abuse and blood-borne infections.

This resulted in the development of the Regional Wellness Response Program (RWRP) in January 2013 to be a resource for all First Nation communities in the region.

RWRP Objectives

  • Create a streamlined approach to assist communities and health/social service professionals to institute practices to improve the health and reduce prescription drug addiction in present and future generations of First Nations people
  • Ensure First Nations communities have access to vital health care and social services to treat prescription drug abuse and blood-borne infections despite remoteness and complexity
  • Liaise with community leadership, frontline workers, and health care providers to gain an understanding of services and resources required to address priorities of health, specific to prescription drug abuse treatment and reduction of associated risks
  • Improve service delivery through partnerships with multiple health and social service organizations through integration, coordination and consultation

Regional Coordination

The Regional Wellness Response Program Manager liaises with community leadership, frontline workers, health care providers and other agencies. The Manager's role as a liaison focuses on gaining an understanding of priority community health needs and concerns which allows for further development of regional programs/strategies.  Additionally, the Manager oversees all staff of the RWRP to ensure program objectives are met through overall planning, development, implementation, collaboration, and evaluation of program activities.

Contact the Regional Wellness Response Program:

Michelle Henry
Program Manager
(807) 737-6188
Michelle.Henry(at)slfnha.com