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New deal commits to mental health support for Yukon tourism operators

An MOU was signed by TIA Yukon and the CMHA-YT that outlines both organizations committment to mental health supports
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division and TIA Yukon have signed an MOU to further mental health supports to in Whitehorse. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

COVID-19 has been difficult for businesses, including those working in the tourism sector.

On July 7, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA Yukon) and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division (CMHA-YT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The MOU outlines both organizations shared commitment to bringing high-quality mental health supports and programs to the Yukon’s tourism industry.

It will be another difficult summer for tourism operators and the road to recovery will be hard once COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

“Yukon’s tourism industry faces a long road to recovery that places a heavy burden on business owners, and we want to ensure that operators are looking after themselves just as much as they have been looking after their businesses and staff,” said Blake Rodgers, TIA Yukon executive director.

TIA Yukon saw the need for tailored mental health supports for the tourism industry early in the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, operators struggled to stay afloat while keeping up and adhering to the changing restrictions and guidelines.

In the summer of 2020, TIA Yukon and CMHA-YT joined together to provide mental health workshops for the tourism industry.

The purpose of the workshops was to help the tourism community cope with the pandemic and the new realities it brought with it.

Tiffanie Tasane, executive director, CMHA-YT, spoke to the importance of the partnership while noting that “psychological health problems and illness are the number one cause of disability in Canada.

“CMHA, Yukon Division applauds the work TIA Yukon is doing with their members to care for their mental health, provide and promote resources and bolster the wellness of the community,” said Tasane.

As the territory’s tourism industry slowly begins its recovery journey, both organizations saw the need for continued collaboration.

The MOU document outlines how the two organizations will support each other and provide advice on the delivery of further mental health workshops, resources and programming for the industry.

Contact John Tonin at