Government of Nunavut’s proposed actions to address mental health needs of young Nunavummiut deemed “entirely unacceptable” by Representative for Children and Youth


MEDIA RELEASE

July 7, 2020

Government of Nunavut’s proposed actions to address mental health needs of young Nunavummiut deemed “entirely unacceptable” by Representative for Children and Youth

Iqaluit, NU – Responses received from the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Arctic College (departments) detailing their proposed actions to give effect to the youth-informed recommendations made in Our Minds Matter: A Youth-Informed Review of Mental Health Services for Young Nunavummiut (Our Minds Matter), as a result of the Representative for Children and Youth’s Office systemic review of mental health services for young people, are “entirely unacceptable”.

At the time of the report’s release in May 2019, departments were advised that they were to provide a response including the steps they proposed to take to give effect to the recommendations by September 30, 2019.

The Representative for Children and Youth, Jane Bates says, “My office has exercised patience and persistence when departments did not respond to requests for feedback, missed numerous deadlines to provide responses, when the responses provided inadequate information on the steps departments were taking to give effect to the recommendations, and when the information changed from one response to the next.” A final response was not provided until February 28, 2020.

Through correspondence received, we determined that there was agreement with six, partial agreement with five, and disagreement with one of the 15 recommendations made. For three recommendations, it is still unclear if there is agreement or disagreement. Attached are copies of the comments made by departments regarding the recommendations.

“I have given the departments’ responses consideration and find that the proposed actions lack substance, commitment, collaboration, and a sense of urgency that the mental health of young Nunavummiut deserve.

The RCYO has raised the matter to the attention of the Commissioner in Executive Council, as per Section 34(2) of the Representative for Children and Youth Act.

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Media Contact:

Kim Foster
Manager of Communications and Public Awareness
Representative for Children and Youth Office
867-975-5091 | kfoster@rcynu.ca