This is page numbers of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was work.

Topics

oral question 885-19(2): Home Care Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

oral question 885-19(2): Home Care Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd ask when, but I don't want to use my last question for that. So can the Minister identify or provide the total cost of equipment that's been provided to -- oh, sorry. I switched that question up yesterday, because I knew I wouldn't get an answer.

Can the Minister commit that the Department of Health and Social Services will assess all elders' homes, as well as the homes that have elders living with them in the Beaufort Delta communities, or all NWT communities, small communities, for their equipment needs and work with the NWT Housing Corporation for their access needs in order to help them continue to age in place? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 885-19(2): Home Care Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, next year we're going to implement a system called Interride, which I'm sure the Member is familiar with. It's an international assessment tool that assesses people for the kinds of needs they have, the services that they require, and the resources they need to meet their needs. And so this is going to be introduced and implemented for the whole population who requires supported living of some kind. And that will enable the health planner, that we have recently hired, to develop a plan about how to meet these needs, what kind of funding is required, where the needs are most urgent, and how to go about meeting them.

So this is a very systematic evidence-based decision-making assessment tool that will tell us what people need, when they need it, where they need it, and I'm really looking forward to the results so that we have a concrete way of making decisions about supporting people to age in place. Thank you.

oral question 885-19(2): Home Care Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

December 9th, 2021

Weyallon Armstrong

Thank you, Minister -- I mean Mr. Speaker. Okay, for the Health and Social Services. Many NWT residents have voiced that they want mental wellness and addiction recovery support in their own communities. Currently, most of the positions for this work is located in Yellowknife. But what plans are underway to increase more staff in the regions?

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thanks to the Member for that question. The focus recently in Health and Social Services has been to provide community-based funds that have specific applications for services and programs that communities or Indigenous governments, in some cases municipal governments and NGOs, can apply for to create service delivery in their communities.

So this year we announced an addictions recovery and aftercare fund which can be accessed for hiring community-based counsellors, and those counsellors could support two kinds of projects:

Projects that support individuals living in or working towards addictions recovery; and,

Projects that support addictions recovery and aftercare programming in the community.

So this has been a very popular fund. 13 proposals received so far. And just at a quick scan of this list, I don't see that there is one from Tlicho community services agency but certainly one would be welcomed.

We have other community-based programs. I won't go through them all but I'll just say there's a peer support fund; there's a suicide prevention fund; and there's the on-the-land healing fund.

The purpose of these funds in general are all the same which is to provide community-based responses to issues that people identify. Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you. In the field of mental health and addictions, we often hear that we must meet people where they are at. Are there outreach workers in each community? Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if the community has used the funds that I'm talking about to hire counsellors, there may, in fact, be someone in place who does addictions outreach, otherwise that would be a function of the community counselling service that exists in either in-person, virtual, or telephone form everywhere throughout the NWT. So community counselling is the place to go for immediate same-day follow-up.

I also wanted to mention that where communities have connectivity, we have a mobile phone app called Wagon, W-A-G-O-N, which is an interactive aftercare and recovery app which is available to residents who would like to try it out and engage with the supports that are provided. This was developed by the Edgewood institution in Nanaimo, BC, which many Northerners have visited for their addictions -- for the facilities-based addictions treatment. Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you. Can the Minister identify what specific community-based programming is in place now to support people struggling with addictions between the age of 20 to 40 years old?

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you. I just went over the general list, the community counselling program, which I just mentioned, and the fact that it is now transformed into a same-day service. There are child and youth care counsellors which are offered jointly with ECE in the schools which provide support to youth. There are the E-mental health options which I just mentioned, Wagon, but there are others. There are facilities-based addictions treatment. There are no facilities in the NWT so these are facilities in the south which we contract and people attend.

We have psychiatric care and treatment available in the Northwest Territories. We have the NWT Help Line to call with immediate needs. And then I'll just mention again the three specific funds:

  • On-the-land healing;
  • Community suicide prevention; and,
  • Addictions recovery peer support.

Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Monfwi.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you. How does the Department of Health and Social Services work with other department to provide wraparound supports to people in their 20s to 40s -- 40 years old struggling with addictions such as child care, counselling, career coaching, income assistance, etcetera. Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you. Providing those wraparound supports is very important. It's not just the work of one department; it is often the work of many departments. And I'll give an example:

Right now, we're asking for an expression of interest in transitional housing for people who are exiting facility-based treatment and require a place to live while they maintain their sobriety and build up some stamina in that area. So we're working with the Housing Corporation on that. We work with ECE on issues like income assistance. We work with Justice. This is really a cross-departmental approach.

As the Minister of Justice said earlier today about the therapeutic community at the South Slave correctional centre, this is a place where people can obtain their sobriety while serving their sentence and can then move into a continuum of service which includes not only Justice but as I say, Housing, ECE, and Health. So this is an area that's new. It's one that we're developing and we're very keen to receive feedback on. Thank you.

oral question 886-19(2): Addictions Support in Communities
Oral Question 883-19(2): Northwest Territories Power Corporation Vaccination Policy

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.