graphic with maroon, gold, and teal background with title of webinar: Cultural Safety Considerations in Indigenous Maternal Mental Health Services

Cultural Safety Considerations in Indigenous Maternal Mental Health Services


Watch the webinar recording

Portrait of Zoua Vang

Cultural Safety Considerations in Indigenous Maternal Mental Health Services 

Dr. Zoua Vang, PhD

William Dawson Scholar and Associate Professor of Sociology McGill University

Moderated by Mary J. Owen, MD, Tlingit

Cultural safety, a framework developed in New Zealand to address power inequities in healthcare that harm the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples, has been adopted in other settler societies, including Canada. The implementation of cultural safety, however, tends to focus narrowly on reducing healthcare providers’ implicit biases, attitudes and behaviors. This individual-level emphasis on healthcare providers, while important, is insufficient to address Indigenous-settler health inequities because it can obscure important structural biases—including formal policies and informal practices—that are built into the existing healthcare system. 

Drawing on fieldwork with Indigenous women and mothers in two northern and remote communities in Quebec, Canada, Dr. Vang will examine Indigenous women’s experiences with perinatal depression and access to mental health services. The results reveal multiple barriers to mental health service use in northern and remote communities, including mental health protocols that are perceived as punitive and the close coupling of child protection services and mental health services which acts as a strong deterrent to help-seeking.

This webinar is hosted by the Center of American Indian & Minority Health as part of the Women's Health Equity, Empowerment, & Leadership Series.

About the Women's Health Equity, Empowerment, & Leadership Series – 

In partnership with ten other centers, institutes, and programs from UMN and beyond, we have developed a recurring women’s health webinar series to share perspectives on the intersection of disparities in global women’s health and public policy, human rights, ethics, and more. These seminars are meant to generate ideas for interprofessional collaboration and action. Learn more about the partnership