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Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation receives $2M anonymous donation

An anonymous donor as made a $2M donation to the Stanton Territorial Hospital, specifically to improve delivery of mental health services for children and youth.

Donation intended to improve delivery of mental health services for children and youth

The new Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife, here pictured days before opening, will benefit from an anonymous $2M donation intended to improve mental health care for youth and children in the Northwest Territories. (Walter Strong/CBC)

An anonymous donor has given $2 million to the Stanton Territorial Hospital for a three-year program that will connect youth and children in remote communities with psychiatrists and psychologists down south.

The program will "increase psychiatric assessments through the Hospital for Sick Kids tele-psychiatry program and … enhance youth psychiatry training for N.W.T. health and social services system staff," the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation said in a news release Thursday.

Patients will connect with psychiatrists and psychologists by video link, said foundation chairperson Sandra MacKenzie.

The program is scheduled to begin this year.

"It provides expertise, particularly in child and youth psychiatry and psychology, and there's a training component where local counsellors, doctors, nurses and even families will be trained on mental health so that more services can be provided at home," MacKenzie said in an interview.

"Less kids will have to be medevaced. There'll be less hospital admissions, hopefully, and less re-admissions."

Sue Cullen, CEO of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, says the money will help examine how tele-psychiatry services fit within the N.W.T. health-care system.

"We can use these services to help improve the care and services we deliver to children and youth across the Northwest Territories," she stated in the release.

The donation was made through the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation, a registered not-for-profit organization that raises money for patient care at the hospital.

MacKenzie said the $2 million is the biggest single donation the Yellowknife-based foundation has received. She said the donor wanted to contribute to health care for young people in the territory.

Senior staff at the hospital identified psychiatric tele-health as the program in most need, she said.

With files from Richard Gleeson

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