Tsuut’ina Nation Prevention Team – Loss Colouring Book

The Cause

The Tsuut’ina Nation's Prevention Team’s mission is to provide mental health education and awareness to the Tsuut’ina community. To assist with this mission the Prevention Team would like to create a colouring book that will tell the story of Edwin the Eagle and the range of emotions he experienced during the immediate time after a loss, and his journey through the steps needed for him to develop healthy coping skills. While colouring, Edwin the Eagles reactions can be discussed and which reactions were positive and which ones might result in high-risk lifestyles identified.

Colouring is an activity that is enjoyed by all ages and skill levels and is known to have the ability to relax the fear center in the brain. The loss colouring book will help generate mindfulness and quietness while children are encouraged to open up about a stressful and challenging subject. The colouring book will be used as an engagement tool that will help children learn to identify and acknowledge the feelings associated with a loss as well as creating a safe environment for them to share their experiences.

In the community of Tsuut’ina, the loss of family and friends often occurs monthly, and at times weekly. The Prevention Team’s goal is to use the colouring book as a way to engage children in discussions about their emotions and thoughts while experiencing a loss. The book will provide children with coping options with the intent to stop the suppression of emotions and high-risk coping activities. By providing simple coping activities at a young age, the children will have the knowledge and ability to continue to utilize and build upon these learned skills as they move towards adulthood.

Who Will it Benefit?

The loss colouring book will provide a direct benefit to the Tsuut’ina community by providing a way for both caregivers and children to learn coping options while dealing with loss. Children will learn that loss affects everyone and it is perfectly ok to share feelings and emotions surrounding it. The coloring book can serve as a reminder to caregivers that they need to be aware of the emotional time after a loss and that they to, can use the coping options or engage in them as a family unit. Outside of the home unit, the loss colouring book will be an available resource for all Nation and non-Nation mental health workers, teachers, or anyone who would like to use it to engage children who are struggling in the time immediately after a loss. It can also be included in learning curriculums or become part of scheduled programming.