Cynthia Lokker


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Mental Health Mobile Applications Developed for Indigenous Communities in Canada: A Scoping Review
Noella Noronha, Ashley Avarino, Sarmini Balakumar, Katherine Toy, Savanah Smith, Christine Wekerle, Dawn Martin-Hill, Makasa Lookinghorse, Alexander Drossos, Anne Niec, Beverley Jacobs, Kristen Thomasen, Cynthia Lokker
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, Volume 41, Issue 1

In Canada, Indigenous populations have an increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders and distress. Mental health mobile applications can provide effective, easy-to-access, and low-cost support. Examining grey literature and academic sources, this review found three mobile apps that support mental health for Indigenous communities in Canada. Implications and future directions are discussed.


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The Use of Mobile Applications to Support Indigenous Youth Wellbeing in Canada
Noella Noronha, Savanah Smith, Dawn Martin Hill, Lori Davis Hill, Savanah Smith, Amy General, Cynthia McQueen, Makaśa Looking Horse, Alexander Drossos, Cynthia Lokker, Nicole M. Bilodeau, Christine Wekerle
International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, Volume 8, Issue 1

In Canada, Indigenous youth have remained resilient despite being confronted with a wide range of structural and systemic risks, such as long-lasting boil water advisories, over-representation in the child welfare system, and injustices related to land treaties. As people of the land, all disruptions to ecological health are a disruption to personal and community holistic health. Land-based activities and cultural continuity strengthen pathways of perseverance for Indigenous youth (Toombs et al., 2016). For youth, cultural self-expression and personal agency are enhanced with digital platforms, which are well-suited to Indigenous people’s strengths in art, music, and oral forms of passing on knowledge. The field of mental health has turned to e-supports such as mobile applications (apps) that can provide easy-to-access intervention, when needed. To date, resilience interventions have received comparatively less attention than the study of resilience factors and processes. It is timely to review the extant literature on mental health apps with Indigenous youth as, currently, Indigenous apps are in early research stages. Critically reviewing work to date, it is argued that an inclusive and expansive concept of resilience, coherent with Indigenous holistic health views, is well-positioned as a foundation for collaborative resilience app development. To date, few mental health apps have been researched with Indigenous youth, and fewer have been co-constructed with Indigenous youth and their community members. The current literature points to feasibility in terms of readiness or potential usage, and functionality for promoting an integrated cultural and holistic health lens. As this effort may be specific to a particular Indigenous nation’s values, stories, and practices, we highlight the Haudenosaunee conceptual wellness model as one example to guide Indigenous and non-Indigenous science integration, with a current project underway with the JoyPopTM mHealth app for promoting positive mental health and resilience.