Doctors call for youth shelter

Following the death of a Whitehorse teen, Yukon doctors are calling for the establishment of a youth shelter.

Following the death of a Whitehorse teen, Yukon doctors are calling for the establishment of a youth shelter.

Yukon doctors gave unanimous support to a youth shelter motion at the annual general meeting of the Yukon Medical Association on Friday.

The need for a youth shelter has been studied and proven and now is the time for action, said association member Dan Carew.

“The topic of this youth emergency shelter has been on the radar screen for a while now,” said Carew.

“I don’t think the debate is do we need such a facility, I think it’s been identified.”

“It’s had further press coverage this week with the unfortunate death of Angel Carlick.”

The remains of 19-year-old Carlick were discovered on November 9 along some hiking trails in the Pilot Mountain.

Carlick had been listed as missing since May.

Autopsy details have not yet been released.

To help keep youth safe and off the streets Yukon has to move past studies and into the action phase, said Carew.

Youth, and people dialing with youth all agree on the need, he added.

“It’s been agreed by all the stakeholders that such a facility is required because as you know these youth are at extreme risk for violence, poor health, suicide and unwanted pregnancy compared to their peers who live in a safe environment,” said Carew.

“There are a lot of youth on the street.

“The YMA encourages a collaborative effort by all levels of government and other organizations that deal with youth.”

Along with the need for a youth shelter, members of the territory’s medical community had some other items on their wish list, including territory-wide anti-smoking legislation.

On Friday, Yukon doctors showed unanimous support for proposed smoking bans in public places in the territory.

“We are the last jurisdiction in Canada without a smoking ban in public places,” said association member Brendan Hanley.

The smoking law is going through the “process” and would be brought forward as soon as all the necessary work had been completed, said Health minister Brad Cathers.

While he was not able to say when or if a law would be approved, Cathers said the need for a smoking ban in public places was supported in nearly every community in the territory.

Other action items included a call for clean water in all Canadian communities, government-measures to address global warming and an increase, to two from one, in the number of psychiatric nurses at Whitehorse General Hospital.