Raising awareness and reducing stigma are some benefits of a new territorial initiative that’s placed a mental health nurse in Dawson City, according to Health Minister Brad Cathers.
The nurse, who began in the community a little more than a month ago, will carry a small caseload but will spend most of the time consulting with other health professionals throughout rural Yukon.
She will focus on individuals who may require assessment, treatment or other case-management services.
“This service expansion recognizes the mental health needs of individuals living in rural Yukon communities and the fact that it’s not always easy for people to get into Whitehorse to get help when they need it,” said Cathers in a release.
The mental health nurse will also be able to provide joint assessments while working with community health nurses or physicians and will be able to make recommendations about treatment plans.
In addition, she will be able to assist with referrals to a psychiatrist or to resources in Whitehorse where required.
“We believe this new position will be very important in educating community professionals about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and, in general, raising awareness in communities about mental illness and reducing stigma,” said Cathers.
“Mental illness is not something to be afraid of.”
Territorial Health Access Fund provided money for the position. (SF)