TryCycle App helps Indigenous veterans seeking mental health support

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“We look forward to working with TryCycle and the services they will be offering to our veterans who will have immediate access to mental health support,” said Saskatchewan First Nations veterans Association’s Grand Chief Steven Ross.
Source: Canadian Healthcare Technology by Jerry Zeidenberg

OTTAWA – In a new project launching this fall, Ottawa-based TryCycle Data Systems hopes to change how support and care are delivered to Indigenous veterans with mental health or substance use disorders.

The one-year project, supported by the Saskatchewan First Nations veterans Association (SFNVA), will pilot the TryCycle digital health app as a twice per week assessment tool that promotes self-reflection, mood analysis, and symptom tracking.

“We look forward to working with TryCycle Data and the services they will be offering to our veterans who will have immediate access to mental health support,” said SFNVA Grand Chief Steven Ross.

About one-fifth of Canadian veterans are diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lives – the most common are depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders.

Sleep quality, trouble focusing, and disinterest in hobbies or relationships are early signs that can easily be overlooked or hiding in plain sight. For individuals with a long history of repeated exposure to trauma, for example an Indigenous veteran who has gone through both the residential school system and a military engagement, an even wider range of symptoms can be present and can escalate quickly with little notice.

“Access to mental healthcare has long been a challenge due to resources and stigma. The challenge is more acute in remote, isolated, and marginalized communities. Similar barriers to care exist in the veteran community in general,” said Major General (Retired) Glynne Hines. “That’s where solutions like TryCycle can truly make a difference.”

TryCycle’s own ‘digital compassionate tether’ platform establishes a trusted care connection between an Indigenous veteran and a mental health professional via an easy-to-use app, so they feel less isolated in their mental health difficulties.

Promoting Indigenous-to-Indigenous care, the TryCycle app tethers health providers to clients under their care. The result is a responsive, time-sensitive “human” intervention, that delivers personalized feedback and promotes early outreach to veterans who may require additional support.

The intent is that the experience of being “connected” through this app can create a bridge to other relationships, increasing a sense of belonging, and providing a safe space for healing and sharing. This pilot project aims to include Indigenous Elders in the process of delivering wellness-based interventions, through teachings, support, and ceremonies to cope with hurt, grief, pain, and loss.

The project will blend Western based approaches with Indigenous healing methodologies, peer to peer support, and guidance from Elders

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