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Roots of Hope Promising Practice Exchange Case Studies – Spotlight on Madawaska-Victoria, New Brunswick

THE MADAWASKA-VICTORIA COMMUNITY

The Madawaska and Victoria region in northern New Brunswick is home to about 50,000 people. The area is predominantly French‑speaking and has an economy centred on forestry, food processing, and agriculture.

The two counties, which fall under the Vitalité Health Network (Zone 4), decided to participate in Roots of Hope to better understand and respond to the needs of the community, particularly those related to men’s health.

Through Roots of Hope, its project team set four main objectives:

  • Provide services and resources that correspond to the values and culture in Zone 4
  • Reduce stigma around mental health and drug addiction in rural areas.
  • Decrease the suicide rate and its impact on our communities, friends, and families.
  • Connect with other Roots of Hope project teams to discuss our strategies and information.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Training and Networks | Suicide prevention training for family physicians and NPs: The most significant impact of this unique team-led initiative was the awareness it raised among family physicians and NPs. This targeted training was also able to include future physicians, which created a culture of change to positively support its approach toward men with suicidal ideation.

    A feasibility and acceptability study among six physicians (before and after training) showed that they valued its efficiency and found its role-playing and vignettes effective teaching strategies. They also said that the training positively affected their confidence to address suicide with their patients. Overall, they felt confident in recommending it to their colleagues and incorporating what they learned into their clinical practice.

    The development of this training also led to discussions and partnerships with regional and provincial medical directors, who have committed to ensure its continuity in front-line care.
  • Specialized Support | MindfulHeart: This program’s innovative approach showed our partners’ strong commitment to demystifying preconceived ideas about men’s ability to look after their mental health and emphasized the importance of working together to prevent suicide. Access to this program has helped reduce stigma, ensure follow up, and direct men to the services they need, when they need them.
  • Public Awareness | Saint-Quentin cultural mediation (community mosaic): The strong participation in this cultural mediation project showed how much citizens of all ages were able to enjoy the experience. Because the mosaic’s creation took place during COVID-19, we had to adapt to health guidelines and public health regulations. People really needed to reconnect but only in a safe environment. Once they had that, participants were eager to attend and include all community members. The event turned out to be an alliance that broke the isolation during the pandemic. Some attendees developed a new passion, and others ventured out of their comfort zone. It was a wonderfully creative experience combining culture and well-being.

Read all Roots of Hope Case Studies

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