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(Canada) Northwest Territory: 'Alarming decrease in mental wellness in young people'

Feb 21, 2020, Yellow Knife, NT, Northern News Services: 49 mental health counsellor jobs to be created in territory The GNWT is expanding to Yellowknife its Child and Youth Care Counsellor (CYCC) program to provide more mental health supports for students and families across the territory. A total of 49 new counsellor positions have been created in the territory for the program, as was explained to an information session of about three dozen parents and education officials on Tuesday at St. Joseph school in Yellowknife…. “We don’t always have enough in our system to be able to support the needs of the schools,” she said. The need for more mental health support was identified through a survey of 130 youth across the territory seeking their feedback on mental wellness. “For a number of our students across the territory we have a legacy of residential schooling and have large trauma impacts and those mental health impacts affect their ability to learn,” said Gillian Dawe-Taylor, director of health, wellness and student support with Department of Education, Employment and Culture (ECE), who was also at the meeting…. Recruiting is ongoing for most of the 49 positions, and most will be in the North and South Slave regions, Lisa Giovanetto, NWTHSSA spokesperson told Yellowknifer. One of the major changes that the CYCC program will bring to schools in Yellowknife is that the counsellors and child and youth counsellor positions will be offered as part of a regular job competition, Brown said. That entails some current counsellors applying for their own jobs. The services will be offered year round and there will be “offices in the communities that allow for that. Families can come for counselling either inside or outside of the school depending on what they prefer,” said Dawe-Taylor…. Two prominent educators who spoke with Yellowknifer support the expansion. Erin Currie, chair of the board of trustees of Yellowknife Catholic Schools said she’s happy to welcome the new counsellors. “The implementation of Child and Youth Care Counsellors is an important initiative for our students. We have seen an alarming decrease in mental wellness in young people, and suicide rates are very high in the North. It will be a great benefit to have counsellors available for our students all year round.”…


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