Talk4HealingAfter two years in operation, a help line for Aboriginal women is seeing a very high demand for its services. Over the last seven months Talk4Healing has seen a 100 per cent increase in calls.

Talk4Healing Program Coordinator Robin Haliuk explains that the higher numbers are a result of promoting who they are and what they do.

“Women are hearing about Talk4Healing and are getting more and more comfortable with calling for help. Talk4Healing isn’t like any other help line; we have Aboriginal women answering the phones that have lived in remote communities and can relate to our callers. It isn’t just about our services – it is about so much more.  A friendly voice at the end of the line.”

Beendigen in partnership with the Ontario Native Women’s Association launched Talk4Healing back in October of 2012. It was the first of its kind in Ontario, providing culturally safe and appropriate resources for Aboriginal women and their families living in Northern Ontario. To date the help line has received 4500 calls, with women calling from remote, urban, and rural communities, both on and off reserve.

Talk4Healing operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with services in English, Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Cree.

“We have experienced a lot of callers that have been going through healing in regards to residential school experiences and they often go home in the evening and start thinking,” says Haliuk. “They tell us they don’t want to burden their family members so they call us instead. We have mothers calling in with issues regarding childcare, women in abusive situations, substance abuse, depression, even women in need of a doctor- our callers come from all different walks of life.”

Since its inception, Talk4Healing has also expanded by adding more staff to accommodate the influx in calls and have also incorporated scheduled counselling sessions into its list of services. The service provides callers with the opportunity to schedule a time for an over-the-phone counselling session. Continues Haliuk, “Our approach allows women to take control of their own lives in the communities where they live.”

93% of Talk4Healing callers have identified the service to be helpful. Accessing Talk4Healing is an easy process. Women simply call the toll-free number 1-855-554-HEAL  For more information visit http://www.talk4healing.com/