Delivered on September 28, 2017
Mr. Speaker, last November, I tabled Mind and Spirit: Promoting Mental Health and Addictions Recovery in the Northwest Territories, our government’s strategic framework for addressing this critical issue for Northerners.
This past February, I advised Members that the Department of Health and Social Services would be developing a child and youth mental wellness action plan as part of our implementation of the strategic framework. I am pleased to tell Members that at the appropriate time later today, I will table the Child and Youth Mental Wellness Action Plan.
Mr. Speaker, we recognize that continued work and improvements are needed to ensure appropriate, specialized services are available to our children and youth when they need it the most.
This Action Plan was developed in close partnership with the departments of Education, Culture and Employment, Justice and Municipal and Community Affairs; as well as the Health and Social Services Authorities. But perhaps most importantly, it was developed with the input from youth from every region of the Northwest Territories.
Insight we received from our youth engagement, along with research into leading practices, guide the development of five key areas for action that will improve and promote mental wellness for children and youth in the NWT.
The Child and Youth Mental Wellness Action Plan addresses the full continuum of services that need to be in place to ensure optimal mental wellness, such as prevention, promotion, early identification, treatment and ongoing recovery supports.
Mr. Speaker, developing this Action Plan is one of the milestones under our government’s mandate commitment to prioritize improvements to outpatient mental health services, with a particular focus on youth mental health services in schools and the broader community.
The Child and Youth Mental Wellness Action Plan demonstrates our commitment to providing residents of NWT with comprehensive and innovative mental health services that support them on their path to wellness.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.