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.


Saswin is located at 51 Kokoko Miikan.  Our office hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm.  






An individual's wellness concerns the balance of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical aspects of that human being.


Mental Wellness is the journey of finding balance of these four aspects.  They are all equally important in healing and wellness processes that build resilient human beings.  Wellness begins with discovering and re-discovering the gifts you carry in the context of your relations - your family, social circles, community, even the beings and living systems over who's lands you share and the whole of creation.


We can help you regain and maintain the balance you need.  We offer counseling and treatment services that are tailored to suit your needs.  Using a you-centred approach, we can help you address specific issues concerning your mental wellbeing, improving the quality of your life. 


Our Mental Health counseling service provides a client centred approach to help people address specific issues and concerns in their mental wellbeing and enrich the quality of their lives. 


Anger Management     -     Self-esteem     -     Substance Abuse    Parenting Issues    

Phobias     -     Grief and Loss     -     Anxiety Disorders     -     Couples/Marital Counselling

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder     -     Addictions     -     Family Violence     -     Sexual Abuse     -     Depression     -     Anything else that impacts your mental wellbeing


Our Mental Health Team is here to service the entire community of Sagamok - children, men, women, and Elders, or individuals, couples, families and groups.  We offer a variety of treatment modalities, including traditional and contemporary practices.  Saswin Mental Health Team also delivers community 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!




Jennifer Lalonde is Saswin's Addictions Counsellor and Cheryl Boyer 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



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



Mental Health,

Addictions &

Cultural Services


51 Kokoko Miikan

PO Box 610

Massey, ON  P0P 1P0


   (705) 865-2192


  Monday to Friday

 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

 (Closed for lunch 12-1pm)





Indigenous Mental Health Specialist

Dr. Peter Menzies


Community Mental Health Worker

Wayne Southwind


Mental Health Caseworker (N'Mninoeyaa)

Brian Nootchtai


Depression & Anxiety Support Groups






Addictions Counsellor

Jennifer LaLonde


Minobimaadizing (N'Mninoeyaa) Support Coordinator

Cheryl Boyer 


Community Circles


Naadmaadaa Support Group


Harm Reduction:


Safe Inhalation Kits


Naloxone Kits


Needle Exchange Program





Cultural Resource Worker

Leroy Bennett





After Hours


For Sagamok Community Members Living On-reserve and in Massey


If it is after regular working hours (9:00am - 4:30pm) and you believe you are in a crisis situation, feeling overwhelmed and need that extra support, guidance or assistance, call

(705) 863-3178


If you need to speak with someone, we have a number of options to help you. 


Knowing when to reach out for that extra support is essential to your overall well-being. 


Sometimes our fear, embarassement or shame keep us from sharing our feelings and experiences with certain people like mom, dad, partners, aunties, uncles, community workers, etc.  Sometimes we feel safe share with certain people and not others.


Sagamok has a confidential support service as another option for someone to talk to.


To anyone who feels overwhelmed with emotions, has strong or heavy feelings, needs extra support talking about feelings, a situation or an experience that brings sadness, fear, anger or hurt, you feel alone or worried or your regular supports are not available, the After Hours Support Service is there for you by calling (705) 863-3178. 


Outside of regular work hours, the service also supports our families when a child protection service becomes involved, attending the home to support our families. 


The After Hours Support Service is there for individuals, but group support sessions may also be requested. 


The After Hours Support Service is available Monday through Thursday between the hours of 4:30pm to 9:00am.  It is also available weekends from Friday at 4:30pm until Monday at 9:00am as well as all Statutory and Sagamok recognized holidays. 


You don't need to go through a crisis alone.  Know to ask for help when you need it!