SUDBURY, ON – August 24, 2009 — The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is renewing its landmark agreement with Queen’s University and leading health care provider Providence Care, which specializes in mental health.

The agreement expands the MNO’s mental health resources, training and resource capacity across the province through a partnership with Kingston-based Providence Care and the Centre for Health Services and Research Policy at Queen’s.

“The health and well-being of our citizens is a priority,” said MNO President Gary Lipinski . “By working with Providence Care and Queen’s we are able to bring valuable and much-needed resources into our communities. As well we are able to build capacity at the community level by training our own health care providers according to the most current standards.”

Under the agreement, Providence Care will provide training and certification for all MNO health care workers, including annual certification in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills and Non Violent Crisis Intervention training. The MNO will also receive additional access to clinical training and mental health expertise via videoconferencing. This agreement builds on the initial two-year agreement between the MNO, Queen’s and Providence Care which was signed in 2007. Under this agreement, the MNO clients are also able to access Telepsychiatry services from Providence Care via videoconferencing. Lipinski says this has been a great resource to the MNO, as access to specialists in mental health can be challenging, and especially in rural and northern communities.

“Providence Care is committed to leading the way in compassion and discovery,” said Allen Prowse, Providence Care Vice-President, Mental Health. “Our relationship with the Métis, which began over three years ago, allows us to share our resources with the MNO and at the same time discover new ways of delivering care. We look forward to opportunities to expand our agreement as demand increases.”

Researchers at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at Queen’s University in Kingston will work with Providence Care and the MNO to conduct a survey of mental health conditions among the Métis people.

“We are looking forward to finalizing the study plan for the mental health survey and are grateful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for providing seed funding to assist us,” said Dr. Heather Stuart, a professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen’s. The collection and analysis of the data will provide the information necessary to help plan, access and provide appropriate services to meet the needs identified by the Métis.

The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture, language and heritage who played an instrumental role in shaping Canada, and who work tirelessly to share their culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with fellow Canadians.

Providence Care is southeastern Ontario’s leading provider of specialized mental health care. Mental health services span the full continuum of care – inpatient, outpatient, and community. Providence Care is also a leading provider of specialized geriatric services, complex continuing care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, palliative and long-term care.

One of Canada’s leading universities, Queen’s is renowned for scholarship, research and a vibrant learning environment. With its strong tradition of public service, the University has been helping shape Canadian values and policies, educating many of the country’s most notable political and cultural figures for over 165 years.

For further information please contact:

Lisa Pigeau

Primary Care Manager, Métis Nation of Ontario

T: (613) 798-1488 ext. 105

Toll Free: (800) 263-4889

F: (613) 722-4225

Cell: (613) 314-8161

Laura Fitzgerald

Communications Officer

Providence Care

Kingston, ON

T: 613.548.5567, ext. 5483

F: 613-548-5588

Cynthia DesGrosseilliers

Manager, Media Relations

Queen’s University

T: 613-533-2035