On 10 December 2019 Vail Resorts announced that CEO Rob Katz gave $2.8 Million in Grants to Further Mental & Behavioral Health Efforts in Mountain Resort Communities across North America. The Whistler Learning Centre (now known as the Whistler Institute) was selected to receive $103,270 CAD to support programming with First Nations including life skills training, culturally appropriate peer support groups, and the development of program to train First Nation therapists. Read the full press release here.
Living Skills Training Program & Peer Support Worker Program
The Living Skills Training Program and Peer Support Worker Program will complement the Indigenous & Intercultural Awareness Training Program and provide the essential skills needed to prepare workers for expanded employment opportunities. Local Líl̓wat peer support workers will be trained to provide support within the Líl̓wat community. The program goals will contribute to individuals securing and retaining employment and contribute to the greater mental health of the community. These programs are currently under development and expected to be ready for delivery in late 2021.
Centre of Excellence for the Training of First Nation Therapists
The Centre of Excellent for the Training of Therapists is more long term and is directed to the entire group of First Nation communities in Canada. In BC alone, there are 185 First Nation communities most of which are not served by their own people who do have a better understanding of the issues. The goal of this program is to develop and implement a University Level Program to train First Nation Personnel at the level needed to qualify as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist by a Professional Organization, falling under the BC Health Providers Act. The funding received will allow for the first step which is the creation of a proposal to raise the funds for development of the new Diploma Program and Centre of Excellence.