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"

“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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(14) Comments:

#1. Posted by Unpopular opinion on October 06, 2017

I’m so done with the word “stakeholders”. Aren’t you?

Incidentally, I doubt there are any “practicable” solutions to this problem.


Because Nunavut itself is the problem; tiny, hopeless and barely livable communities that are nearly impossible for the average citizen to leave and / or get relief from their inescapable and wholly dysfunctional social units.

It’s not surprising at all that suicide is such an issue here. It will always be as long as Nunavut exists.

#2. Posted by a better tomorrow on October 07, 2017

#1 Look toward the future for a better tomorrow.  The survival of Inuit did not come this far to end where colonialism began in the Arctic.  The time has arrived to repair the damage done by the might over right agenda.

#3. Posted by Caude on October 07, 2017

It will not need a year to complete, we already know what plagues us.

# 1 you are quite correct - people are imprisoned in their small communities, unable to get away to be able to think clearly.

If everyone up here had a Vacation travel assistance voucher once or twice a year they would feel so much better.

That is much cheaper than staff salaries for mental health workers who will only come and go.

It is possible to see the big picture and look at your problems from a distance, when you are not right there, reacting to the smallness of gossip, mindless chit chat and other stressful things like the ‘drag down system’in your home community.

#4. Posted by King of Clubs on October 07, 2017

Kids need help because their parents need help.  They live in noisy, overcrowded, food-insecure environments where alcohol and drugs bring out the worst in parents.

#5. Posted by Unpopular opinion on October 07, 2017

#2 Good for you. What’s your plan?

#6. Posted by not a science project on October 07, 2017

#5 stay away from science projects.  The science of trying to turn a culture inside out failed and is unpopular.

The children in need of help for their health is their right.

#7. Posted by Unpopular opnion on October 07, 2017

#6 ‘Science projects’ hey?

Here’s a ‘science project’ for you. Try organizing your thoughts so people understand what you are trying to say. Otherwise your points come off as cryptic gibberish. 

No one suggested children don’t have rights. 

And if the goal had ever been to turn a culture “inside out,” it was obviously a success.

#8. Posted by healing for children on October 09, 2017

#7 you are trying to make life miserable with berating words.  You failed, just as the science project to turn Inuit culture into colonists failed.  Mental health and healing for the children of Nunavut is topic here.

#9. Posted by Unpopular opinion on October 09, 2017

#8 That’s funny. History will show that Inuit have been colonized and are in a process of increasing ‘westernization.’ That might not include you and your group of hold outs, but overall that’s exactly the pattern.

In any event we’ve certainly drifted off topic, I agree. So tell me then, was my original comment wrong? If so, how?

Perhaps the problem is you just don’t like a good honest critique from outside the protective little ideological bubble you’ve constructed.

That would be my guess.

#10. Posted by Ilinniaqtuq on October 09, 2017

#2 The future of Nunavut and the survival of Inuit are not the same thing.

Nunavut is a recent colonial jurisdiction. Inuit culture is 4000 years strong.

Please don’t forget that Nunavut is not what is important. INUIT are what are important. Inuit youth do much better in urban centres and the ones who want to move there, should be given the same supports as refugees so that they can.

#11. Posted by Parent on October 10, 2017

Illinniaqtuq has a really good point. A lot of kids are born into poverty, the only way they are ever get to travel is for medical or something the school is putting on. Those that want a good education to get out and stay out should get an opportunity to leave their community and have a support system to help them.

#12. Posted by olaf on October 10, 2017

For Pete’s sake, get on with doing something, not another study,survey, task force or review.
Get real with the population about what is hurting them; talk directly to them, not through contractors, who don’t know how to speak directly to the people, but will take our money anyway.

#13. Posted by survival on October 10, 2017

#11 what is Nunavut when Inuit are not part of the same equation?  Just another southern piece of land?

Children are the focus here and the future is looking better for the children in need.

#9 your attempt to degrade, labels you a moron.

#14. Posted by Unpopular opinion on October 11, 2017

#13 If you don’t like what I have to say then by all means point your energy toward the substance of my arguments.

Attacking me as a “moron” for pointing out the vacuity of the arguments here only betrays the gaping and obvious void in your own intellect.

How very sad, and how very unsurprising

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