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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH Supports First Nations Youth

CAMH is teaming up with the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and the Ontario First Nations Young Peoples Council to address the harmful use of prescription opioids among First Nation youth.

CAMH’s Provincial System Support Program’s Opiate Awareness, Treatment and Education (OpiATE) project, which has identified the need to engage youth in developmental activities, provided support to the COO for a public education campaign that highlights how youth in First Nation communities are addressing the issues of prescription drug misuse.

First Nations PSA

The campaign, created to promote a positive image of First Nations youth, consists of a 60 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) and an eight minute documentary filmed at the Ontario First Nations Youth Meeting on Health earlier this year.  Produced largely by the young people themselves, it includes interviews with youth who speak about the life challenges they are facing and how they are overcoming adversity.

Renee Linklater, CAMH’s Manager of Aboriginal Community Engagement says, “the opportunity to collaborate with the Chiefs of Ontario has provided an exciting opportunity to support First Nations youth. These public education tools will provide great resources for education and training, and more so, provide important messages to society.”

Renee says this campaign demonstrates that First Nations youth in Ontario are taking an active role in generating a youth-driven response to the prescription drug issues in their communities and are very concerned about the impact of addiction. She expects the PSA and video will be disseminated to a wide audience across the country and hopes they will be screened at film festivals. 

Chief Stan Beardy 

Regional Chief Stan Beardy with G’mewin Migwans, M’Chigeeng First Nation. (Photo Courtesy of Chiefs of Ontario)


Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy says, “I am very proud of the young leadership in our communities. They clearly demonstrate the honesty, creativity, talent and contributions of a truly exceptional group of youth. It is my hope that these productions will inspire all young people to strive for success in their lives."​

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