The Mental Wellness of Citizens of the Métis Nation: Before and during COVID-19
The COVID‑19 pandemic has been challenging and stressful for communities with ongoing changes, disruptions, and isolation. This has led to high levels of mental unwellness. Rates of anxiety and depression are on the rise across many groups. Yet little information is available on the mental wellness of Indigenous people related to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Data that is available suggests continued disparity with poorer mental health in Indigenous compared to non-Indigenous populations. What remains unknown is Metis-specific mental health experiences. High-quality, timely data on the mental health outcomes of Metis people is crucial to inform the allocation of scarce mental health resources. Our rapid COVID‑19 study will provide this information. As the only recognized Metis government in Ontario, the Metis Nation of Ontario is well positioned to lead this research to examine the mental wellness of MNO Citizens before, during and after the COVID‑19 pandemic. Our study will use mixed methods to examine self-reported mental health through survey based data as well as health service administrative data and speaking directly with Metis Citizens to look at trends in mental wellness. Examining the experiences of mental wellness and unwellness among Metis Citizens during the pandemic is critical to informing the development of programs and strategies to improve outcomes post-pandemic and prepare for future pandemics or other public health emergencies. Results from our COVID‑19 study can help inform decisions on resource allocation and prevention/intervention strategies to optimize Metis health.