Pandemic experiences and impacts of COVID‑19 on the mental health of Indigenous communities
This Study responds to the call for practices and platforms to inform population level responses to COVID‑19 generated Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) concerns for Indigenous peoples living in BC. It’s designed in response to our objective to contextualize the current evidence base on MHSU service needs, delivery, and related guidelines, practices and issues within the COVID‑19 pandemic so as to provide decision makers with high quality, timely, accessible, and relevant evidence in a short period of time. Our research approach is shaped by leadership in our collaboration with the Nisga’a Nation, and with an Indigenous Communications and Web design professional practiced in Indigenous Community Based Knowledge Translation methods. The populations we are seeking to address are Indigenous peoples living in BC in the COVID‑19 context more generally, and more specifically, Indigenous peoples living in more remote regions of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Our broad knowledge synthesis (KS) approaches include literature searches, social and health policy analyses. Our case specific approach with the Nisga’a Nation permits our KS to address the unique MHSU COVID‑19 concerns to Indigenous peoples in Northern BC. This study will also examine the gendered impacts of COVID‑19 on the MHSU of Indigenous women. The outbreak of COVID‑19 amplifies existing inequalities for Indigenous women who occupy vulnerable social positions including income, housing, and food insecurities. This study will contribute to the establishment of a gendered lens and analytical framework on the gendered impacts of COVID‑19 on the MHSU in Indigenous communities.