N.W.T. considers sending mental health teams to Nunakput

·2 min read
Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson asked the government weeks ago to send grief counsellors to the communities in his electoral district to help people deal with 'all the deaths that have occurred over the last year.' (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson asked the government weeks ago to send grief counsellors to the communities in his electoral district to help people deal with 'all the deaths that have occurred over the last year.' (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

Weeks after Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson requested the government send grief counsellors to his electoral district, Health Minister Julie Green says she will look into sending a mental health team to the district's four communities.

In early February, Green urged anyone seeking mental health services to use same-day counselling services available through the health department but stopped short of committing to send in new resources.

On Thursday, she said she will investigate if she can deploy mental health teams that typically travel to communities without resident counsellors.

While a child and youth counsellor position is filled at the Mangilaluk School in Tuktoykatuk, there are vacancies in community counselling, said Green.

Health Minister Julie Green says she will look into sending mental health teams to Nunakput.
Health Minister Julie Green says she will look into sending mental health teams to Nunakput.

Jacobson said mental health issues are coming up in Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok, Sachs Harbour and Paulatuk.

He said a lot of people are hurting from depression to all the deaths that have occurred over the last year," said Jacobson.

"We have to start trying to help them, heal them and try to move forward. When are we gonna get these travel teams into Nunakput?" he said.

"We need a team to come in to work with the community on the depression, alcoholism, everything ... anything they want to talk about to get off their chest. We need help."

The Kids Help Line is available to youth by text or call, Facebook and online chat, said Green.

If you are under 25 years old and you need someone to talk to, you can call the Kid's Help Phone 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868. Texting and online chat options are also available 24/7. To text with a counsellor, text CONNECT to 686868. To live chat, visit https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat/ and click the "chat" button OR download the Always There app.