The government of Nunavut is responding to long-standing demands for more mental health services in the territory.
In the Kivalliq region, a new program called Community Mental Health has been introduced in Rankin Inlet. Mellie Detrick, the manager of mental health in Rankin Inlet, said education and awareness is an important part of the program.
"With mental illness, we’re trying to decrease the stigmatization so that people feel that they can come for services that we provide. We want to stress that we're also there for mental wellness as well," Detrick said.
Irene Way, the psychiatric nurse in the community, said people have to believe that they can make a difference.
"That we can help those people, that there's other ways, rather than solve a temporary problem by a permanent solution and end up taking one’s life," Way said.
Two mental health outreach workers are in Rankin Inlet working to deal with problems before they become a crisis, and there are plans to hire more workers for other Kivalliq communities.
Some of the programs offered in the community include addiction awareness, suicide prevention, and youth engagement. One, called Cooking Up a Story, sees parents and children preparing meals together, telling stories and socializing.