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Coverage for Indigenous Clients
Accessing mental health support can, at times, feel overwhelming. It is important that we inform our clients of the options available to them and how to navigate these options when they need it.
If you have treaty status, you can access 20 sessions yearly by applying to First Nations Inuit Health Benefits (FNIHB or NIHB). However, it's important to note that NIHB only covers Registered Psychologists and/or Registered Clinical Social Workers who have applied with NIHB to be providers. This means NIHB does not cover costs for any other professionals in the mental health field such as: Interns or Practicum Students, Mental Health Therapists, Provisional Psychologists, etc. If you have insurance through an insurance provider, NIHB will require you to go through this coverage first before accessing it. This is an ISC policy, not an Indigenous Psychological Services policy.
At this time, NIHB coverage can be used for Individual Counselling for youth, adults, elders, and Group Therapy.
For more info on some of the limitations to NIHB coverage, check out what our Director has said on this topic and how we hope to increase access for Indigenous clients:
Bigstone is similar to NIHB and is accessible to those under the Bigstone Cree Nation. You can apply through Bigstone by submitting an application with your Bigstone Treaty number to access 20 sessions a year. This will only cover Registered Psychologists and/or Registered Clinical Social Workers.
Clients who have been impacted by Residential Schools, Day Schools, or Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls can access coverage by applying to the residential school program (IRS RHSP). Clients accessing this coverage can be approved for up to 60 sessions a year. This program also only covers Registered Psychologists and/or Registered Clinical Social Workers. Clients can apply for this level of coverage with or without Treaty Status.
IRS coverage can be used for Individual Counselling for youth, adults, and elders, Couples Counselling, Family Counselling, and Group Therapy.
Jordan's Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. A young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Their goal is to help clients access a range of services for their children, including mental health support. To access this coverage for your child(ren), parents/caregivers will need to submit an application and two letters of support to Jordan's Principle. Amount of sessions can vary depending on client needs. Jordan's Principle covers all mental health professionals, and parents/caregivers will need to submit directly to Jordan's Principle. Clients do not need to live on reserve or have treaty status as long as a parent/caregiver has their treaty status.
For more info and to see the full range of services, visit:
For Inuit youth under the same umbrella of coverage, please visit:
Metis Nation offers support for Metis members seeking counselling services. Support may vary, so please reach out to your nation to find out how you can access this coverage. If you're unsure, we can definitely help with this.
Nations Band Coverage
Some bands may offer separate funding or support for mental health and/or other financial assistance that may be available to you as a member. We recommend checking with your nation office to determine whether this might be an option and which professionals they may cover. If a letter of recommendation/support is needed, your mental health provider may be able to provide this as well.
We understand going through the application process of these different levels of coverage can seem like a lot! We can help in submitting these for you or in providing the support to make it a lot easier.
Give us a call or send us an email
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