AA goes high tech in the communities

It’s a little hard to hug someone through a TV. But when it comes to addictions support, video conferencing may give Yukon communities a…

It’s a little hard to hug someone through a TV.

But when it comes to addictions support, video conferencing may give Yukon communities a much-needed boost.

Alcoholics Anonymous is taking advantage of the territory’s cutting-edge telehealth network to host weekly meetings in 13 Yukon communities via video conferencing.

Members will head to their local nursing station to participate in the Friday afternoon meetings that will link all participating communities with Whitehorse.

“It will allow you to connect with people, so when you come to Whitehorse for groceries you have a contact,” said the Alcoholics Anonymous member who spearheaded the project. (True to the name, members must remain anonymous.)

If only three communities link on, then three boxes will show up on the TV screen and members, pictured in the nursing station boardrooms, can talk.

It’s unlikely all communities will link on at once, but if this happens, the TV will be broken into tiny 13 boxes.

It takes the onus off a few member who felt responsible for hosting meetings in certain communities week after week, said the member.

“Sometimes they would sit there with a pot of coffee month after month with no one, or one or two people,” she said.

For those communities where meetings already happen, this gives people a second option, added the member.

Unlike Whitehorse, where a couple meetings happen every day, communities are lucky to have one a week.

Dawson, Mayo, Faro, Ross River, Whitehorse, Carmacks, Teslin, Watson Lake, Carcross, Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay, Haines Junction and Old Crow are linked on for the meetings.

Pelly Crossing and Burwash Landing are not included. Pelly’s telehealth office is too small, said the member.

On TV, “it’s not going to be the same for closeness and laughter and camaraderie and fellowship,” she added.

“But I think it’ll be interesting to see how the fellowship grows and how those things work with the technology. It is an experiment.”

The meetings will take place in the community nursing stations every Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

Air North president Joe Sparling said the relaxing of self-isolation rules will be good for the business, but he still expects a slow summer. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)
Air North president expects a slow summer

Air North president Joe Sparling suspects it will be a long time before things return to pre-pandemic times


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

Most Read