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Piapot First Nation hosts inaugural mental health and wellness conference

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Mental health and wellness were the focus of a conference hosted by Piapot First Nation on Wednesday and Thursday.

The two day event held at the Conexus Arts Centre is the first of its kind for the nation.

It was a time for the community to address various issues impacting the community.

“We want to provide a positive solution to try to help,” Everet Sayer, a councillor of Piapot First Nation, said.

The idea of the conference originated over a year ago at a men’s group on the nation. The idea then grew with the realization nearly every member was dealing with a related issue.

“This conference signifies our collective effort to break the silence, share our stories, and support each other in our journeys toward wellness,” Mark Fox, the Chief of Piapot First Nation.

Attendees were able to hear from keynote speakers about the importance of mental health, and where also able to get into smaller groups to learn and talk about topics such as grief and healing.

“I think that people will come away with a good feeling. Hopefully some of the information that they picked up on is something they can carry with them,” Jayleen Francis, the volunteer coordinator of the event, said.

There were 300 seats available for the event. Organizers said they are pleased with the outcome and are thinking of expanding the number of seats next time. Inviting other nations to join is also a possibility.

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