Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 06, 2017 - 3:30 pm

Nunavut’s child and youth rep to review mental health services

"We are working to ensure this right is upheld and respected"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
“This investigative review will give a clear picture of what it is like to be a young person in need of mental health services in this territory,
“This investigative review will give a clear picture of what it is like to be a young person in need of mental health services in this territory," said Child and Youth Representative Sherry McNeil-Mulak. (FILE PHOTO)

Nunavut’s Representative for Children and Youth Office has launched a formal review of the territorial government’s mental health services for youth.

The representative of children and youth, Sherry McNeil-Mulak, announced the review Oct. 5—her office’s first since it formed two years ago.

Concerns over Nunavut’s lack of mental health services have been raised in every community visited by McNeil-Mulak’s office, she said in an Oct. 5 release.

“Through our individual advocacy cases, we have seen the serious impact that a lack of child and youth mental health services is having on young Nunavummiut,” McNeil-Mulak said.

“This investigative review will give a clear picture of what it is like to be a young person in need of mental health services in this territory and make recommendations to the Government of Nunavut for needed improvements.”

McNeil-Mulak pointed to articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which highlight the right to adequate health care, including mental health services.

“With this review, we are working to ensure this right is upheld and respected,” she said.

As part of its investigation, the office will conduct interviews with stakeholders and review extensive documentation, with the goal of developing “practicable” recommendations for the Government of Nunavut.

The office has notified Nunavut’s health department of the upcoming review, which will start right away, said McNeil-Mulak, whose role is that of an independent officer of the legislative assembly.

The review is expected to take a year to complete.

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