Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
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Saswin Mental Health, Addictions & Cultural Services

The team at Saswin provides mental health, addictions, and cultural services to members of Sagamok. The focus is to promote a higher quality of life through applying models of wellness with a focus on the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of people.



51 Kokoko Miikan   (705) 865-2192



Monday to Friday    9:00 am - 4:30 pm




Community Mental Health Services


Saswin Mental Health Services assists individuals along their path of mental wellbeing, providing services to those with mental health issues to enrich their quality of life.  Come to Saswin to obtain counselling services for stress management, crisis intervention, prevention services and referrals to appropriate supports.  This program also delivers educational activities and programs designed to enhance the mental health of Sagamok community members. 


Dr. Peter Menzies  is a member of Sagamok Anishnawbek and is a specialist in Indigenous Mental Health relating to the treatment of addictions and trauma.  Dr. Menzies visits Sagamok for two weeks of every month and offers assessment and counselling services in a one-on-one, group or family setting. 


Depression and Anxiety Support Group is for individuals, family and friends who struggle with anxiety in their everyday lives or want to support people with anxiety.  It runs every second Monday from 6-8pm at Saswin.


"Mental Health is a journey of seeking balance in the four aspects of life (spiritual, emotional, physical and mental) and is equally important in the healing and wellness process. Wellness begins with discovering and re-discovering the gifts that you carry and finding balance with oneself, family, community and the larger environment."

N'Mninoeyaa Aboriginal Health Access Centre describes Wholistic Health :& Wellbeing.  N'Mninoeyaa Health Access Centre is one division of Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services, an entity of Mamaweswen, North Shore Tribal Council.  Read more about their Wholistic Health and Wellbeing concept!




Community Addictions Services

Jennifer Lalonde is Saswin's Addictions Counsellor and Cheryl is Saswin's Addictions Support Coordinator.  Together, they deliver Addictions services to the Sagamok community, supported by a greater Addictions Services Delivery Team. 


Community Addictions Services in Sagamok focuses upon Prevention, Intervention and Aftercare. 


The Team involves itself in raising community awareness of alcohol, drug abuse, gambling and other forms of addictions, at times coordinating seminars and workshops to meet this goal.  They are also the core group responsible for coordinating Sagamok's Annual National Aboriginal Addictions Awareness Week (NAAAW) held each year during the second week of November.  Look out for this event in 2018!


The team also coordinates recreational activities and social events that bring community members together in quality activities that build connections between people and allow for meaningful discussion and socialization in a drug and alcohol free setting. 


The team also offers services for those who have gone through treatment to prevent reoccurrences by providing counselling, sharing circles and support groups, regular phone calls and home visits, as well as referrals to band services, social services, detoxification and treatment centers and medical assistance. 



Community Circles       Community Circles can be requested at any time for the benefit of families and groups in the community.  These Circles can be used in times of crisis, contemplation and in healing.  They are delivered by the Saswin Community Mental Health & Addictions Team (including Dr. Peter Menzies if he is available) and supported by partners at Maamwesying and Raising the Spirit.  Please note that Community Circles do not have to concern addictions-related issues. 



Naadmaadaa Support Group      Naadmaadaa Support Group for individuals, family and friends who struggle with or want to support people with substance use disorder. This group takes place from 6-8pm at Saswin every second Monday.       Find Naadmaadaa on facebook


Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.



Safe Inhalation Kit Program                           Distribution of safer crack-smoking kits reduces the risk that people will share pipes or use broken ones. It is also an opportunity to connect more drug users with harm reduction programs and other health and social services. Saswin Addictions Services distributes kits that contain the materials needed to make smoking crack safer.


Supplies available:   

Sterile alcohol swabs          Mouthpieces

Screens                             ● Push sticks

Matches                            Pipe



Did you know that using a stem  along with brass metal screens and mouthpieces can prevent cuts and burns and help reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and other pathogens and harms among people who smoke drugs.  Find out more at the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution program at



Needle Exchange Program      Sterile equipment is provided to users to reduce the spread of blood-borne infections among people who inject drugs, like steroids and heroin.  The program protects the public by reducing the number of used needles discarded in public places. 


Free Supplies and Services:

needles, injection and inhalation equipment for injecting

information about safer drug use

information about safer sex

community referrals to services

disposal containers for used needles and sharps

condoms and lube

information on Naloxone and overdose prevention and management




Naloxone Kit Program             Naloxone can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. When someone overdoses on opioids, their breathing either slows or stops completely. If used right away, naloxone can help them breathe normally and regain consciousness. Naloxone can either be injected or given as a nasal spray. 

Want to learn more about Ontario's free Naloxone kit program? 








For Youth!  Mondays   YOUTH ADDICTIONS TALKING CIRCLE from 4-6pm at the Youth Centre (512 Cedar Street).  For grades 6, 7 & 8 students.  Transportation provided from Biidaaban Kinoomaagegamik to the Youth Centre and then home afterwards.  Participants will enjoy dinner and fun activities while learning in a Circle setting.  This is a safe, culturally based environment facilitated by Community Workers and Traditional Teachers.  Parental Consent is required.  17 spots available.  For more information, please contact Darlene McNaughton, Student Mental Health Worker at (705) 865-2387 or Jenna Guignard, Youth Wellness Worker at (705) 865-2171 ext.329. 














Cultural Services Available at Saswin

An integral component of Sagamok's Wellness Strategy includes Cultural Services and Resources.  


Sagamok's Cultural Worker operates out of the Saswin building and supports the cultural service needs of the entire organization and Sagamok community.  The Cultural Worker is approachable for teachings, requests for ceremonies, and assistance in planning a healing journey. 


Traditional Healers          The Cultural Services worker coordinates the delivery of traditional healing alternatives for the benefit of community members.  One traditional healer visits the Saswin in Sagamok. 


Need a specific cultural service?  Ask!  Don't forget to bring a tobacco offering!

  • Healing, Talking and Sharing Circles         
  • Ceremony
  • Sweat Lodge
  • Smudging
  • Cleansing of Spaces
  • Rights of Life Ceremonies














Drug & Alcohol Helpline   1-800-565-8603


Mental Health Helpline  1-866-531-2600


Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline     1-888-230-3505




Mental Health Services available outside the Sagamok Community


Espanola Regional Hospital & Health Centre – Mental Health Counselling

Offering mental health counselling with a registered social worker.

825 McKinnon Drive    Espanola, ON  P5E 1R4    (705) 869-1420


Health Sciences North Mental Health & Addictions Program 


Crisis Intervention Services                705.675.4760             Toll-Free: 1.877.841.1101


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program                      705.523.7100     ext 8012


Sudbury Mental Health & Addictions Centre

Central Intake                            705.523.4988      ext. 4221

Reception                                   705.523.4988      ext 0


Inpatient Psychiatry – Kirkwood Place                                  705.523.7100      ext 8042


Inpatient Psychiatry – Ramsey Lake Health Centre            705.523.7100      ext 1256


Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic – Kirkwood Place                   705.523.-7100     ext 8234


Withdrawal Management Service & Safe Bed Program    705.671.7366






East Algoma Mental Health Clinic (Elliot Lake)               



Espanola Mental Health & Addictions Clinic (Espanola)



Manitoulin Mental Health & Addictions Clinic (Little Current)






Kids Help Phone                         Call: 1-800-668-6868

For children and youth between the ages of 5 and 20

Provides professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being via phone and online via web post or live chat.  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Free, anonymous and confidential

Call: 1-800-668-6868


Good2Talk                                   Call: 1-866-925-5454

For people between the ages of 17-25 (Post secondary students in Ontario).  

Provides professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being.  Free, confidential and anonymous helpline.  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week



Mental Health Helpline              Call: 1-866-531-2600

All ages.  Provides information about counselling services and supports in your community.  Listens, offers support and provide strategies to help you meet your goals.  Provides basic education about mental illness



Ontario Distress Centres           Distress Line:  1-855-554-HEAL (4325)

All ages.  A free telephone help-line for people experiencing emotional distress (including suicide)

Provide listening and referral services primarily through highly trained volunteers.  Most centres are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Offers services in English, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, and Cree.


Talk 4 Healing                             1 855 554 HEAL

A free & culturally safe telephone help line for Aboriginal Women living in Northern Ontario.

A help line for aboriginal women providing: Culturally sensitive crisis counselling, advice and suppport,   Personalized information and referrals,   Acceptance of Aboriginal women's issues in a non-judgemental way,   Help to find the path to personal healing,   Scheduled telephone counselling sessions.

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Services in English, Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Cree




Bro Talk                                               1-866-395-5933 –
Assaulted Women’s Helpline               1-866-863-0511 
Mississaugi Women’s Shelter              1-800-461-2232      705-356-7800
Maplegate House for Women              1-800-461-4623      705-461-9868
Genevre House                                    1-800-461-0133
Crisis Text Line                                      text Go2741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-TALK (8255)