Bell Let’s Talk Day has become the world’s largest conversation about mental health, increasing awareness and helping create real change. This year, the annual campaign spotlighted mental health organizations across Canada that provide vital support to those in need. TryCycle proudly received recognition from CTV National News on Bell Let’s Talk Day for ongoing efforts in offering anonymous peer support tailored specifically for Indigenous communities.

Here, we share two interviews that celebrate the Talking Stick app, launched in May 2022 in partnership with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. Talking Stick is a virtual safe space for Indigenous people to connect anonymously, one-on-one with trained peer support workers, to provide emotional support, and judgement-free listening.

Learn firsthand from those involved about the transformative power of this digital lifeline, and its role in promoting mental well-being and cultural connectivity among Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan.

“The uniqueness of the Talking Stick app is that it’s for Indigenous people. It’s all about trust, how do we help and give them a voice” says Kyle Prettyshield, Executive Director at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. Watch the interview here.

In a second interview, Tiffany Carrier, one of seven Regional Managers for Talking Stick shared “The majority of people coming to use the app, they don’t have that support system in behind them.” Cecile McKay, TryCycle’s Provincial Director of the Talking Stick program in Saskatchewan emphasized the anonymous nature of the text-based chat platform, and the ability to connect with a real person within seconds. Talking Stick is supported by a workforce of two hundred Peer Advocates, all trained to listen with compassion. Peer Advocates understand the impacts of the Sixties Scoop, Residential Schools, and intergenerational trauma.

“They have gone through the same things we have gone through. They have the same cultural background” said McKay. “We’re not mental health therapists, and we don’t give advice. We’re just there to listen and offer resources.”

Watch the interview here.