Innovative mental health practices for Francophone minority communities in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and in the Northwest Territories (NWT)

Regions: Dehcho Region, North Slave Region

Tags: mental health, health services, bilingual, francophone

Principal Investigator: Bouchard, Louise (1)
Licence Number: 16731
Organization: University of Ottawa
Licensed Year(s): 2020
Issued: Jun 25, 2020
Project Team: Jacinthe Savard

Objective(s): To document innovative initiatives (emerging, promising and best practices) aimed at promoting, preventing or intervening early in mental health and particularly with Francophone minority communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the Northwest Territories.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4770.

The objectives of this research are: a) to document innovative initiatives (emerging, promising and best practices) aimed at promoting, preventing or intervening early in mental health and particularly with Francophone minority communities (FMCs) in Newfoundland (NL) and Labrador and in the Northwest Territories; b) understand the factors that contribute to their success or that have been an obstacle to overcome; c) mobilize the knowledge acquired. The initiatives to be selected may be existing initiatives providing services in French or existing initiatives providing services exclusively in English but which could include or improve the offer of mental health services in French. In the latter case, the research team team will formulate recommendations on how to equip service providers to better take into account the needs of FMCs. The research team has developed certain tools in the past. The study is funded by the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS National Secretariat and the CNFS University of Ottawa), and the partners are the Fédération de Francophones de Terrre-Neuve-et-Labrador (FFTNL) and the Réseau TNO Santé in the Northwest Territories.

The very recent regulation on health services in French in these province and Territories with low Francophone population, a lack of designated bilingual mental health professional positions and the dispersion of this population in the territories pose significant challenges to French-speakers users as well as to provincial governments. The research aims to produce evidence that can contribute to informed decision-making by health authorities.

Three initiatives in NL and three in the NWT will be documented (N=6). The study of these initiatives will follow the qualitative approach of the case studies, which allow an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon or a situation and bring out the details and complexities of each case. Researchers along with partners and in consultation with the health authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest territories, have selected the following initiatives:

Newfoundland and Labrador: CHANNAL's Warm Line; Mental Health System Navigator, and Doorways.
Northwest Territories: TAMI (Talking about Mental Illness); the Community Counseling program, and the Crisis Line.

The choice of these initiatives took into account: a) the location of the populations they serve (urban, rural, remote region), b) the specific problems of certain groups (drug addiction, homelessness, suicide, depression, others), c) age groups (children, youth, adults, seniors), d) immigrant status, and e) type of initiative according to the categorization presented in the conceptual framework (previous section). In addition, this choice includes the intervention approach, that is, whether it is a government population-based intervention or a community-based organisation intervention

The research team conducted a first review of existing initiatives from a first inventory carried out as part of a needs analysis finalized in March 2019 in NL, as well as on-line resources available for the Northwest Territories.

In each of the six case studies, researchers will conduct semi-structured interviews with key informants (e.g. mental health and addiction officials in ministries and departments of social and health services) (N = 1); services' providers (professionals providing care, peer-support workers) (N = 2); and services' users or family members taking care (N = 2).

Thirty (N=30) interviews will be conducted in both sites using teleconference applications (Skype, Zoom or phone). Interviews will last from 40 to 60 minutes. Each case study will examine the pre-established dimensions in an interview guide that researchers developed for this purpose. The team developed three interview guides for each category of respondent.

The activities planned as part of this project are based on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Guidelines and will relate to the production and use of research results. They will include: synthesis, dissemination, transfer and exchange activities, as well as joint creation by the research team and partners from the two targeted province and territories.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 24, 2020 to December 31, 2020.