Eskasoni Mental Health Services

Eskasoni First Nation says it has been selected to take part in a national mental health project. (eskasoni.ca)

Eskasoni First Nation says it is one of 13 sites across Canada chosen to take part in a $25 million project to improve mental health services for adolescents and young adults.

The research will stretch over five years and is aimed at mental health treatment for people between 11 and 25 years of age.

The director of mental health services in Eskasoni says they’ve pushed to become part of the project called Transformational Research in Adolescent Mental Health.

"Our premise is that it will be ease of access, every door is the right door," says Daphne Hutt-MacLeod. "We'll be able to address a youth coming in through our doors within 72 hours.

"And I think the other part of it is to be able to create a system that's usable for all youth in Canada."

The work is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Graham Boeckh Foundation. 

Hutt-MacLeod says even though most mental illness begins before the age of 25, there's a gap in services for adolescents.

She says if the research shows the methods used at Eskasoni are successful, then the community could become a model for care across Canada.