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Aaniish Naa Gejii Child Health and Wellbeing Measure (ACHWM)

The ACHWM is a comprehensive health and well-being assessment that enables Indigenous communities to understand health from the perspectives of their children.
The assessment tool was created in 2011 by Mary Jo Wabano,
Health Services Director for Wiikwemkoong, and Dr. Nancy Young, Laurentian’s
Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children’s Health and children of Wiikwemkoong.
The goal was to identify meaningful concepts
of health and well-being.
Guided by the medicine wheel, children captured pictures of items around the
community to represent what health and wellness meant to them.
The outcome was a 62 item questionnaire known as the Aaniish Naa Gegii, a Children’s Health and Well-being Measure (ACHWM). Culturally appropriate in its design, the ACHWM is reflective of Indigenous youth and provides them the opportunity to tell their story on an Android Tablet.
What Exactly Makes up the ACHWM?
The ACHWM is a 62 item tablet-based health and wellbeing assessment geared for children 8 to 18 years of age.
It's implementation process includes a triage component to connect children at potential risk to local services.
    Key Benefits of the ACHWM
    There are many benefits to the ACHWM.
    It gives children a voice in their own health assessment, demonstrating they are heard;
    It was developed with and for Indigenous children 8-18 years of age;
    It is culturally relevant and grounded in the Medicine Wheel; results report Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical health summary scores;
      It is scientifically sound (valid, reliable and sensitive);
      The use of modern tablets engage children;
      It's automated process enhances feasibility and generates instant individual wellness reports;
      and it generates quantifiable data useful at the local level to support program planning and funding requests.
      Health Screening
      The ACHWM can be valuable for providing a description of children’s health within the community. The data obtained can :
      1– Help inform local program planning;
      2– Help communities better determine the health of the children in the community;
      3– Identify areas where more services may be needed;
      4– Provide overall data to support advocacy for program funding.
      Several communities have utilized the ACHWM to gather local data and inform health, education and child welfare policy and practice.
      The ACHWM can be used as a health screening measure. It can create a baseline connection between a child and support services by:
      Utilising the embedded screening mechanism, which alerts the team to respondents who are experiencing mental health challenges;
      Producing a report summarizing the health and wellness of a child at intake;
      Providing an overall wellness score for the child, as well as a score for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health;
      Calculating scores to provide an encompassing summary of the child’s health needs;
      Helps to connect children to additional supports if needed;
      Changing the conversation between children and mental health support staff in positive ways;
      Engaging hard to reach children, stimulating positive discussions to promote better health, and act as a catalyst for honest conversation.

      Program Evaluation
      What is Program Evaluation?
      A systematic approach in which information about a program is: collected, analysed, and reported.
      Why should we Evaluate Programs?
      Results from program evaluations can help in ad-vocating for program funding and guide decisions on what programs to offer.
      ACHWM as a Tool for Program Evaluation
      The ACHWM helps systematically collect health outcomes to understand the impact the program has on the child’s wellness. By implementing the ACHWM pre-program and post-program, evalua-tors can observe if changes occur in a child’s over-all wellbeing health assessment after participating in the program based on their summary scores.
      The ACHWM can act as a tool in gathering credible evidence to help inform final reports and justify need for future funding.
      FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ACHWM, please visit:

      Diane Jacko, Health Services Director
      Naandwechige-Gamig Wikwemikong Health Centre
      Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory
      Phone: 705-859-3164

      Nancy L. Young, Senior Scientist
      Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
      Phone: 705-675-1151 ext. 4014