Unlocking The Gates (UTG) Peer Health Mentoring Program

Project Funding: The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)

Project Period: 2014 – on-going

The CCPHE is partnering with the First Nations Health Authority on this community-based participatory peer-health mentoring project. The project seeks to support the reintegration of individuals who are leaving provincial correctional facilities in BC. The peer-health mentoring program works with community agencies inside the prison in order to connect with individuals inside prison during pre-release planning, and to offer systematic peer support and engagement during the immediate transition days following their release from prison. This support and outreach aims to assist transitioning individuals in accessing the health and social services they need to increase their chances of a successful reintegration. Examples of this support might include: meeting individuals at the prison gate, accompanying them to the welfare office or AA/NA meetings, assisting them in acquiring safe housing, clothing or a family doctor, etc.

The UTG peer health mentorship program is grounded in participatory processes and restorative and social justice principles by enhancing individual’s reintegration efforts through supportive relationships and encouraging community dialogue, collaboration and capacity building.