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(Canada) Northern Nunavut youth struggling with mental health issues

May 23, 2019, CBC: Nunavut kids speak up about 'unacceptable' state of mental health services Youth in Nunavut say they don't know how to access mental health services, or what services are available to them — and the territory's representative for children and youth says Nunavut's mental health system is inadequate, unacceptable, and failing to meet the needs of young people. The revelations are part of a 54-page report published Wednesday by the representative's office, in its first systemic review since the office opened in September 2015. The report heard from 225 young Nunavummiut, culminating in 15 recommendations to the Government of Nunavut, spanning five key themes: mental health in schools, in-territory mental health services, mental health workforce, awareness and barriers, and recreational and cultural activities. "If this type of investment and shift does not occur, then we can no longer continue to be shocked by staggering youth suicide statistics, and outraged when hurt and helplessness disguise themselves as undesirable behaviour affecting our communities," said Sherry McNeil-Mulak, Nunavut's representative for children and youth. … Mental health in schools While the report is wide-ranging, one prominent section zeroed in on clinical mental health services within schools. In short, there aren't any. "We repeatedly heard about the need to have mental health services available in schools," the report reads. "This was one of the top responses from youth when we asked what would make mental health services even better in Nunavut." … Barriers accessing services Even getting students mental health support that is already available in schools can be a struggle…. The report is calling for more investments to recruit mental health workers, with specific training to work with young people, and investing in local skill development to curb the transient nature of Nunavut's mental health workforce. …


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