• Individual Wellness
Dec 04, 2018

Individual wellness (or well-being) is essential to the health of individuals and communities. When people see themselves as being balanced physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, they can overcome the normal stresses of life and contribute to the life of their community.[1] According to the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework, mental wellness is a state of balance. It can be strengthened in individuals who have purpose in their daily lives, whether it is through education, employment, care-giving or cultural ways of being and doing, as well as in people who have a hope for their future and the futures of their family. Finally, Aboriginal values such as a belief in the spirit, a sense of belonging and connectedness within their families and to community and culture can contribute to mental wellness (Health Canada, 2015).

Here are some results from the Regional Health Survey (RHS) – Phase 3 on individual wellness.


Perception of mental health status

Here are the results of the perception of the mental health status of people 12 years and over living in First Nations communities in Quebec. It can be seen that the majority of people (64%) say they have very good or excellent mental health. Three in ten (28%) say they have good mental health while one in ten (8%) says they have fair or poor mental health.



Mental health is one of the dimensions of individual health. Remember, it is never too late to seek the care or services available in your community. Did you know that three-fourths of teenagers and adults have never used a mental health service?



If you would like to ask questions or talk to someone, feel free to contact your health centre or call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or via www.hopeforwellness.ca.[2]


Psychological distress

Once again, the RHS – Phase 3 presents the results of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, a tool designed to provide an overall measure of the various components of psychological distress. This scale is frequently used in population surveys, where diagnostic interviews to assess mental disorders are not appropriate. This scale is sensitive to the defining criteria for anxiety disorders and mood disorders as defined in the DSM-V.


Table 1 shows that among people 12 years and over, three-fourths (73%) of respondents had no sign of psychological distress. Among the rest, 14% have low, 8% moderate and 5% severe psychological distress.


Table 1: Psychological distress among individuals 12 years and over (Kessler Scale)



We are available to accompany you in your reflection on the results of the RHS and the social determinants of health or other topics according to your needs.


For more information, please contact Joannie Gray Roussel, Support Agent – Research and Evaluation at 418-842-1540, ext. 2509.


The results presented here come from the First Nations RHS – Phase 3. The survey was conducted between February 2015 and May 2016 in 21 First Nations communities in Quebec.





First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission. (2018). First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS) – Phase 3 (2015) – Individual wellness, mental health and elder abuse.

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission. (2018). First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS) – Phase 3 (2015) – Accessibility and use of health services.

Health Canada. (2015). First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework. [Online], 2015, page D. Government of Canada.).