Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement – Health Support component

General information

Lead department: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Federal partner organization: Health Canada

Start date: September 2003 (Resolution Health Support Program), July 2004 (Crisis Line)

End date: March 31, 2016 (Resolution Health Support Program), March 31, 2020 (Crisis Line)

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date): $38,900,000 (Crisis Line) + $558,963,046 (Health Support) = $597,863,046

Total federal planned spending to date (dollars): $32,124,517 (Crisis Line 2007–2008 to 2016–2017)Footnote 1 + $500,380,523 (Health Support 2003-2004 to 2016-2017) = $532,505,040

Total federal actual spending to date (dollars): $30,165,443 (Crisis Line 2007–2008 to 2016–2017)Footnote 1 + $520,390,916 (Health Support 2003-2004 to 2016-2017) = $550,556,359

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners: Nil

Governance structures: INAC is responsible for the overall implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and is working in partnership with Health Canada to coordinate and provide services for former Indian Residential School students and their families throughout all phases of the Settlement Agreement.

Description: INAC supports former students in crisis by funding the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support service (1-866-925-4419) operated by trained crisis counselors, including Indigenous counselors. INAC is also responsible for coordinating the verification of program eligibility, and ensuring that Health Canada is aware of dates for Independent Assessment Process hearings and Truth and Reconciliation and Commemoration events as they arise, so that health supports can be provided to former students in a seamless fashion.

Health Canada's Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program, a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, ensures that former students of Indian Residential Schools and their families can safely address a broad spectrum of mental wellness issues related to the impacts of Indian Residential Schools through all phases of the Settlement Agreement. The Resolution Health Support Program provides access to mental health counselling, cultural and emotional support services provided by professional counselors, support Elders, Traditional Healers, and aboriginal community health workers. Assistance with the cost of transportation to access counseling, Elder, and/or Traditional Healer services is also provided when services are not locally available.

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation: INAC has fulfilled its evaluation obligations under the Settlement Agreement. As this is not an ongoing grant and contribution program, there is no statutory requirement for further evaluation work, as there are no further legislative, policy, or other requirements to do so.

Shared outcome of federal partners: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement Health Supports component works toward the achievement of two outcomes:

Expected outcome or result of non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Performance highlights: Former Indian Residential School students, their families and persons of interest have received demand-based mental health as well as cultural and emotional support through each phase of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. In 2016–2017, approximately 67,000 mental health counselling sessions were provided to former residential school students and their families, an increase of approximately 27% compared to the previous fiscal year.

The Indian Residential School Crisis Line gives critical and culturally appropriate aid to these groups and individuals throughout Canada, including remote regions where alternate services are limited. Outcomes for 2016-2017 were within expected service levels (just below financial targets and consistently above the 95% operational target). Crisis counselors handled 7,979 calls in 2016–2017 compared to 7,968 in 2015–2016, including 78 suicide interventions. The Crisis Line mandate was also expanded to provide similar services for people affected by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

This program was not included in the Horizontal Initiatives for the 2016–2017 Report on Plans and Priorities as its funding source had yet to be determined.

Performance information

Federal organizations Link to the Department's PAA Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) 2016–2017 Planned spending (dollars) 2016–2017 Actual spending (dollars)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Residential Schools Resolution Indian Residential School Crisis Line $38,900,000 $3,400,000 $3,441,665
Health Canada Mental Wellness Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program $558,963,046 $58,582,523 $67,417,023
Total for all federal organizations $597,863,046 $61,982,523 $70,858,688
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
2016–2017 Expected results 2016–2017 Performance indicators 2016–2017 Targets 2016–2017 Actual resultsa Data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting
Former Indian Residential School students and their families have access to a 24-hour, national crisis line operated by trained crisis counselors Percentage of calls receiving a busy signal in a 24-hour period, and percentage of calls answered within 120 seconds in a 24-hour period Maximum of 5% busy signal and 95% of calls answered within 120 seconds as per contract In 2016–2017, a total of 7,979 calls for support were responded to by the team of crisis counselors, compared to 7,968 calls received in 2015–2016, providing a wide range of services including suicide intervention on 78 calls. The results were as expected and within service levels for 2016–2017, with an average annual service level of 98.8% and a percentage of calls unanswered during the year at 2.3%. Source: Crisis Line Monthly Reports
Frequency: Annually
a Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks of each federal partner.
Health Canada
2016–2017 Expected results 2016–2017 Performance indicators 2016–2017 Targets 2016–2017 Actual resultsa Data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting
Demand-driven health support services will be accessible to former Indian residential school students and their families throughout all phases of the IRSSA. Fund Indigenous community-based contribution agreement recipients to deliver cultural and emotional supports 90% of contribution agreement funded services will be in place by the end of June. Demand-driven health supports have been provided to former Indian Residential School students and their families through all phases of the IRSSA. In 2016–2017, 100% of services funded through contribution agreements (i.e., cultural and emotional support services) were in place by the end of June 2016. Source: Grants and Contribution Information Management System
Frequency: ongoing throughout the year.
Administer access to mental health counselling 80% of counselling requests will be processed within 2 weeks of receipt. Recent enhancements to the Mental Health Services Tracking System (deployed in August 2017) now enable the tracking of this service standard indicator. In 2016–2017, 67,000 mental health counselling sessions were provided to former residential school students and their families, an increase of approximately 27% compared to the previous fiscal year. Compliance with the service standard indicator cannot be reported for 2016–2017 Source the Mental Health Services Tracking System
Frequency: ongoing throughout the year
a Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks of each federal partner.

Comments on variances

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The variance between planned and actual spending is mainly due to the demand for services being higher than anticipated for the year. Funds were reallocated internally to meet the program needs.

Health Canada
The variance between planned and actual spending is mainly due to an increase in client-driven demand for mental health counselling sessions and transportation assistance to access counselling and cultural support services.

Contact information

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