The LISTEN Approach originally came about during the ACHH National work. When speaking with the participating Elders, clinicians and youth the belief of re-establishing balance was mentioned. The notion of balance refers back to the Scared Medicine Wheel and how health is a balance of each dimension. In relation to balance, the necessity to re-establish or maintain balance was considered extremely important. As a result, the LISTEN acronym was conceptualized as strategies to re-establish or maintain balance.


(Above): The (Sacred) Medicine Wheel

What Does It Mean?

Please see below to learn what each part of the LISTEN acronym means.

  • Language – key communication barrier
  • Individual – understanding the need to balance the specific needs of the individual and institution
  • Share – Mutual sharing of knowledge with clinicians
  • Teachable moments – Capitalize on teachable moments, creating spaces for youth to teach the clinicians
  • Engage – Engage from a point of respect and the clinician understanding Indigenous cultures
  • Navigate – Need for clinicians to help youth navigate and connect with relevant Indigenous and Western community services and resources

(Above): A section of the ACHH National Poster pertaining to the LISTEN Acronym. To view the full poster click here.


We are currently awaiting approval for the manuscript explaining the origin and meaning behind the LISTEN Approach.

Keep your eyes open for an update and a link to the manuscript.