Ontario is supporting Beendigen Inc., an Indigenous family shelter in Thunder Bay, to expand culturally-appropriate helpline services for Indigenous women across Ontario. The province is investing an additional $500,000 annually in Beendigen Inc.
This investment builds on the success of Talk4Healing, an Indigenous-designed and delivered helpline for Indigenous women in Northern Ontario. Talk4Healing launched in 2012. The service is available 24/7, with services in multiple languages, including Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Cree at 1 855 554 HEAL
Expanding helpline services for Indigenous women is part of the $100 million commitment made under Walking Together: Ontario's Long-Term Strate.gy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women in order to help respond to the high rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women. In Canada, Indigenous women 15 years and older are three to five times more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women.
Soon, regardless of geographical location in Ontario, all Indigenous women will now have 24-hour access to a culturally safe help line, said Debra Vermette, executive director of Beendigen Inc.
“The current Talk4Healing help line has been successfully funded and supported by the Ontario government. We look forward to continued success in working with the ministry and partnering with the Ontario Native Women’s Association on this exciting project," she added.
See the website at http://www.talk4healing.com/get-help/