Profile: A young aboriginal woman’s mental health struggles – Ottawa Citizen

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Profile: A young aboriginal woman’s mental health struggles – Ottawa Citizen

by ahnationtalk on June 15, 2015379 Views

June 14, 2015

Jessica Dinovitzer is 21 and of Mohawk descent. She works in the Native Circle at the Youth Services Bureau. She is one of the 310 participants in a Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health study that produced startling findings, reported by the Citizen last month, about aboriginal youth mental health in the Ottawa region. Reporter Anaïs Voski sat down with Dinovitzer to put a human face on the report.

Q: How did you come to participate in Wabano’s survey on aboriginal youth mental health?

A: I come from a Mohawk background from my mother’s side and I was born in Ottawa, so I am part of the more than 43,000 native people who live in the Champlain LHIN area. A couple of years ago I was seeking help because I had severe PTSD, depression, and anxiety due to sexual assault. I went through the Youth Services Bureau, the Minwaashin Lodge, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa, and eventually ended up at the Wabano Centre, where everything just sort of fell into place. I think it’s important to do and participate in such surveys so that these centres know how to help our native youth.

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