Indigenous people in the Toronto area can “Call Auntie” for health and wellness support
The Call Auntie hotline is a quick, simple way for Indigenous people in the Toronto area to get connected to health information and services. Those could include COVID-19 testing and treatment options, referrals to care providers, reproductive and sexual health information, mental health supports, and housing or food insecurity issues. Callers leave a message with their needs and will receive a call back the same day from one of the Aunties.
The women answering the phones all work with the Baby Bundle Project, a partnership between the Well Living House and Seventh Generation Midwives to improve services for Indigenous families. As the pandemic developed, they realized more direct support to their target community was needed, especially given COVID-19’s impact on the availability of community services. They dubbed the hotline “Call Auntie” in reference to the role of elder women in Indigenous communities as sources of traditional and cultural knowledge who younger people often turn to for help.
Krista Williams, one of the Aunties, calls the hotline a “one-stop shop” to support Indigenous people’s health and wellness needs. “If we don’t have the information we find it for you and get back to you.”