Changes coming to delivery of Child and Youth Counselling (CYC) services

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 13, 2023

Child and Youth Counselling (CYC) services have been revamped this school year to improve supports for students, youth and families in Northwest Territories (NWT) schools and communities. While students and families may see changes during the 2023-24 school year as the CYC service model changes, mental health services will still be available in schools and communities during this time. 

With the in-school Child and Youth Counsellor model, clinical counsellors hired by NWT health and social services authorities were in schools delivering services. In response to requests from education bodies and educators, the changes divide the Child and Youth Counsellor model into two parts. About 55% of the funding will be allocated to the education bodies so they can directly provide mental health supports for children and youth in schools, particularly for prevention and early intervention services. Coordinating wraparound supports in schools will be led by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment.

The NWT health and social services authorities will retain the remaining 45% of the funding to continue providing clinical counselling to children and youth through the health and social services system, including helping families navigate services such as psychiatry, specialized treatment and addictions supports.

The remodel may look different in each region, as each education body will receive funding to hire its own mental health providers and will determine how services are delivered in their regions to ensure that students have continued access to mental health supports.



“This remodel will provide wraparound supports to students, youth and families through both the education and health systems. A mental health provider based in a school is part of that unique community and will form relationships with the student population as a whole. There is also an opportunity for school services to be localized and specific to the needs of the region and community, and to integrate local and Indigenous knowledge and practices.”


  • R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment


“Changes to the CYC initiative responds to feedback from education bodies and the program assessment to better meet the needs of children, youth, and families. The remodel allows us to continue a team approach to mental health care for students and youth, between the school-based providers and health system-based counsellors and practitioners.”


  • Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services


Quick facts

  • The CYC initiative first launched in the 2018-19 school year in two regions. It has been a partnered initiative of ECE, HSS, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA), Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency (TCSA), Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, 10 regional education bodies and 49 schools.
  • The CYC initiative expanded to all NWT communities by 2021-22, with counsellors in all schools with more than 75 students (37 schools), and a contracted travelling mental health support team providing service to schools with fewer than 75 students (12 schools).
    • For the 2023-24 school year, the GNWT will fund the ongoing contract with the travelling mental health team to support this transition period.


Related links


For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352  Ext. 71073


Jeremy Bird

Manager, Communications

Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories

(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034