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Nunavut Addictions and Mental Health Services (Kivalliq Region) 

From: Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Older adults 55+ (© 2010, 2011 CAMH)

Goals and objectives

  • to build on the traditional values and strengths of Nunavut communities
  • to provide the best possible culturally grounded and evidence-based services to addiction and mental health clients


This program focuses on developing and implementing substance use and mental health services to meet the needs of citizens of Nunavut. Psychiatrists visit each community once or twice per year to act as a “doorway” to acute care services and to provide support. In addition, mental health consultants meet with Inuit elders, creating a comprehensive support system (Guideline 6) that aims to meet the four goals—healthy communities; simplicity and unity; self-reliance; and continuing learning—set out in the Pinasuaqtavut, the Nunavut government’s goals and objectives. Medical interpreters are used in this process, helping to ensure that the information presented to the target population is culturally appropriate (Guideline 8).

Opportunities for advocacy are clear, since this program was created as a push for access to mental health services for people living in Inuit communities in the Kivalliq region (Guideline 10).

There is a long-term commitment to this issue (Guideline 11), as demonstrated by the support from the government of Nunavut and the positive responses generated.

Additional information

Start date  1999
Guideline 1: Audience, specific populations 
  • Inuit
  • people with concurrent disorders
  • people with specific disorders
  • residents of isolated northern communities
  • rural residents
  • older adults (Inuit elders) 
Guideline 2: Protective and risk factors, and determinants of health 

Protective factors

  • access to support services

Risk factors

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • isolation
  • issues with self-esteem
  • limited or no social support
  • suicidal ideation or history of suicide attempts

Determinants of health

  • social supports
  • ethnocultural background 
Guideline 3: Multiple settings 
  • community health care centres
  • social service offices 
Guideline 9: Multiple stakeholders 
  • Inuit elders
  • Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services (Kivalliq Region)
  • family physicians
  • psychiatrists
  • RCMP
  • Government of Nunavut
  • University of Manitoba 
Guideline 11: Evaluation 

yes, ongoing 

Learn more  Contact Wendy Dolan (tel. 867 645-2171 or e-mail: or Barb Mueller (tel. 867 793-2816).


In Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Older Adults 55+

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