The Promoting Life Together Collaborative models a co-designed learning program, bringing together multi-disciplinary teams from across northern, rural and remote parts of Canada using a shared learning approach. The name of the collaborative was re-framed to focus on ‘Life Promotion’, recognizing the need to take a broader and more encompassing approach to the issue of suicide, to consider all aspects of one’s life and community wellness.

Life promotion is an Indigenous paradigm shift that encompasses both suicide prevention and life promotion to reduce premature unnatural death, which also represents an opportunity to educate the non-Indigenous world about how to promote wellness. This work embraces the holistic approach to mental wellness articulated in the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework, a national framework that addresses mental wellness among First Nations in Canada. It identifies ways to enhance service coordination among various systems and support culturally safe delivery of services.

The overall goals of the collaborative are to:

  • Support the development of meaningful partnerships with teams to work alongside community members (First Nations, Inuit, and/or Métis), health authorities, persons with lived experience and other community partners
  • Provide learning opportunities for understanding and application of wise practices for life promotion and Indigenous mental wellness frameworks
  • Support teams enhance their capacity towards culturally safe environments to promote health transformation
  • Enhance the capacity of teams to design, implement and evaluate improvement initiatives together/alongside their communities
  • Strengthen the capacity of CFHI to collaborate with, and learn from Indigenous partners and communities on health improvement initiatives

Guidance Group

CFHI has established an external Guidance Group to provide guidance for the ongoing design and evaluation of the collaborative. This group of leaders in Indigenous health and wellness, community engagement, and suicide prevention guide CFHI staff in identifying and responding to the common needs of the teams, including curriculum development, content, tools, resources and timelines. The Guidance Group provides input into evaluation approaches for the collaborative.
View a full list of Guidance Group Members. 


Promoting Life Together Timeline

Key Dates

Phase 1: Preparation (May 2017 – October 2017)

  • Initial engagement calls with Collaborative partners
  • Orientation webinar to prepare teams for the collaborative and the in-person meeting
  • In-person orientation workshop to bring teams together with their Indigenous community partners

Phase 2: Development of Project Plan (October 2017 – March 2018)

  • Refine preliminary project plans and continue to work with stakeholders and communities to identify and refine goals
  • Teams complete project plans
  • Teams identify learning curriculum, coaches and mentorship to help develop project plans, evaluation strategies and identify funding resources
  • Teams host collaborative partner meetings to further refine the Phase 3 project plans

Phase 3: Implementation and Evaluation

  • Teams implement and evaluate initiatives
  • CFHI, together with the Guidance Group, develop and deliver a curriculum to meet learning needs identified by teams in Phase 1 and 2 to support project implementation and evaluation

Guiding Principles

The Promoting Life Together Collaborative is guided by seven principles, developed together with Network members, and in partnership with the Guidance Group. These principles include:

  • Cultural humility/safety and reconciliation is an ongoing journey, and opportunities to further knowledge and capacity will be emphasized throughout the collaborative.
  • The voice of Indigenous peoples, families, communities, patients, youth, caregivers, and individuals with lived experience will guide the collaborative, and teams will be expected to model this approach.
  • Indigenous knowledge is recognized as evidence and will guide all stages of the collaborative (development, implementation and evaluation).
  • An Indigenous social determinants of health lens has been, and will continue to be, applied to the work of the collaborative. Mental health is influenced by many factors including culture, life experiences, colonization workplace or other environments, and the social and economic conditions that shape our lives.
  • Respect, listening to and valuing other perspectives and other ways of knowing, learning together and collaboration will be modelled and championed.
  • A strength-based approach that fosters hope to address suicide prevention/life promotion will be applied.
  • Collaborative action in health transformation promotes equity through mutual recognition, respect, sharing and responsibility.

These principles recognize the unique context of this work and the capacity required to make meaningful systemic change in the way that mental health services are delivered, while acknowledging that teams within the collaborative work with Indigenous peoples, communities and organizations.