Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik December 21, 2012 - 2:45 pm

Nunavik health board vows to improve services

Board looks at FASD, youth, addictions, mental health

SAMANTHA DAWSON

Earlier this month, at the Nunavik regional board of health and social services’ annual general meeting in Montreal, members completed a crucial step in an initiative to improve health services in Nunavik, said the board’s director of planning, Yoan Girard.

Board members unanimously adopted the first set of 22 recommendations from the project’s three advisory committees – made up of 150 people – a youth committee, an addictions committee and a mental health committee.

That’s a big first step, Girard said.

“It’s a continuous process and we’re at the beginning,” he said.

Those recommendations included:  developing a support network for Nunavik parents, preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, preventing suicide and celebrating life, and ensuring services of good quality for people suffering from psychiatric disorders.

The focus is on prevention rather than treatment, though there are partnerships being formed with addictions treatment centres in the South, Girard said

“All the executive management must try to do what they can do to take those recommendations and put it in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 action plan to be able to meet those goals [and put services in place],” he said.

Other objectives of the project include: reinforce partnerships between local and regional organizations to ensure a better response to the complex social situation and current health problems, and to improve the way health and social services are developed in the region.

This would be to make sure people’s concerns are at the core of the decision-making process.

“It’s changed the way to plan the way health works, it will be a better understanding and a better cooperation,” Girard said. 

The project started in 2004 when the Quebec health and social services ministry asked all regions of Quebec to revise and improve services to ensure they meet the needs of their respective populations.

That process was called the “clinical project.”

In 2009, Nunavik joined the initiative when its two health centres decided to revise their programs for mental health, addictions and youth in difficulty.

In June 2010, the partners of the Nunavik health and social services network identified nine services for improvement and development as priorities for the region.

“The clinical project involves more than 40 organizations and more than 150 persons actively working over the past four years. We are counting on our partners’ usual cooperation to ensure progress in the other regional priorities identified in 2010,” said Gilles Boulet, Acting Executive Director of the NRBHSS.

Although certain measures may take several years before their complete implementation, others could be carried out in 2013. 

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