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News

Minister Beaulieu returns from the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder meeting

YELLOWKNIFE (September 19, 2012) – Minister of Health and Social Services Tom Beaulieu attended the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Partnership Ministers’ Meeting on September 14 and 15 in Saskatoon.  The meeting, chaired by Saskatchewan Social Services Minister June Draude, celebrated the achievements of the Partnership and discussed its future.

A Shared Path Towards Wellness – Mental Health and Addictions, 2012 – 2015

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time today I will table our action plan, “A Shared Path Towards Wellness – Mental Health and Addictions, 2012 – 2015.”

The new action plan will help improve mental health and reduce addiction in the NWT.  A Shared Path Towards Wellness will create a more efficient system that will allow residents to receive assessment, treatment and support services when and where they need them.  The three-year action plan builds on the existing system, and incorporates innovative ideas from our stakeholders to better coordinate and integrate our services.

The action plan has three key elements.

The first is Community Focus and Engagement – communities have said that they are in the best position to determine their own culturally appropriate solutions.  This plan will let communities drive and guide community-based Mental Health and Addiction programs, with our support, not the other way around.

The second key element is Collaborative Partnerships with Other Departments and Agencies – this plan ensures that departments and agencies will work collectively to address mental health and addictions issues.  An example is ensuring that effective addictions programming is available for residents in our correctional facilities.

The third key element is to develop an Integrated Continuum of Care – the action plan will be building upon our existing Integrated Services Delivery Model. Services will be integrated to ensure that front-line service providers will work together. There will also be integration from community level services through regional services to territorial services to create a seamless system. While every effort will be made to make services available at the community level; there will still be some specialized services that can be more efficiently delivered at the regional or territorial level.

Mr. Speaker, this action plan was developed by engaging key stakeholders in the addiction and mental health fields. It included health care professionals, social services professionals, GNWT departments, aboriginal governments, and community groups. We also talked to people from across the territory who have experienced mental health and addictions issues and been clients in our system.  I would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of this action plan.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Mr. Speaker, June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

We all need to take a moment and say thank you to those Elders who have taught us, supported us and provided the wisdom that has guided our lives.

Many of us in this House owe a debt of gratitude to the Elders in our communities that have helped guide us in our careers.

Truth and Reconciliation Support

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to rise today to express my support and appreciation for the great work accomplished by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

This initiative has been no small task. The Commission visited our communities, set up supports, and provided a forum to allow our survivors to share their pain and begin to heal. This is a significant accomplishment.  

I would like to acknowledge the fourth anniversary of the apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the work of his government, especially Minister Leona Aglukkaq, that has led to this day.

I would also like to thank Health Canada, as well as all the members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for their dedication and commitment during this process.

Mr. Speaker, many of our residents have suffered the direct impacts of residential school abuse, and many of their family members and loved ones have also been affected.

Over 6000 common experience payment cheques were issued to residents in the NWT. We know that healing will be a life-long process.

As Minister of Health and Social Services, I see the effects of the residential school experience reflected in our Health and Social Services system, especially in mental health and addictions.  Yet, I am also inspired by the courage, faith and determination of these survivors.

Government of Northwest Territories Welcomes Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada

YELLOWKNIFE (June 7, 2012) – Building on last month’s overwhelmingly successful release of Canada’s first-ever mental health strategy, the Mental Health Commission of Canada is in Yellowknife to launch Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada. The Strategy was shaped and informed by the experiences and input from thousands of Canadians, including considerable engagement in Northwest Territories.

Disability Awareness Week

Mr. Speaker, this Assembly has a vision of strong individuals, families and communities sharing in the benefits and responsibilities of a unified, environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories. Our vision includes persons with disabilities.

June 4th to 8th is Disability Awareness Week in the Northwest Territories. Each year, Disability Awareness Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the contributions persons with disabilities make to our communities in spite of the many challenges they may face every day. This year’s theme is Broadening our Acceptance, Through Accessibility.

Most of us take accessibility for granted.  Access to a service, building or business is not something we think about; unless we don’t have access.

Accessibility means access to educational opportunities, employment or recreation.

It also means access to medical facilities and services, churches and grocery stores.

Accessibility means people with disabilities can participate in the aspects of daily life that most of us take for granted.

It means the world to the person who needs it.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health and Social Services will continue to work with the Health Authorities and stakeholders to improve the quality of life of Northerners with disabilities by providing the appropriate access to sustainable programs and services.

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