GNWT Launches “We Need to Talk about this Stuff” Video Series

Press Release

August 4, 2021

A new social marketing campaign – We Need to Talk about this Stuff –launched today features videos that profile  six northerners who share personal reflections about substance use and how it has affected their mental wellness.

Substance abuse is common in the north and residents’ opinions and feelings about it may vary significantly based on an individual’s experience. This video series challenges the stigma around substance use, examines its relationship to mental wellness, and encourages residents to have open and honest conversations about these important topics that affect us all.

These videos will be showcased online and through traditional media to encourage NWT residents to talk about substance abuse, mental wellness and about the stigma associated with both. They also promote the available supports and resources that exist in the NWT.

To see the videos, visit


“Almost every northerner can say they have a direct or indirect connection with substance use and mental wellness – whether they struggle with it themselves or know someone who does. We see a lot of stigma around substance abuse and mental wellness. We hear from individuals they feel shame, blame, hopelessness and distress because of their circumstances, which often prevents them from seeking help when they need it. The We Need to Talk about this Stuff video series encourages northerners to have open conversations that I hope will get everyone talking and show residents that they are not alone.”

– Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick facts

  • Results from the 2018 NWT Addictions Survey showed:
    • 33% of overall respondents reported being current cigarette smokers
    • 74% of respondents reported having a drink in the past 12 months
    • 47% of males and 39% of females report heavy drinking at least once per month (where heavy drinking entails consuming four or more drinks on one occasion for females, and five or more drinks on one occasion for males). This is significantly higher than the 2018 national average of 19.1% (Statistics Canada)
    • 41% of NWT residents reported using cannabis in the past year
    • Cocaine continues to be the illicit drug of choice for respondents (16% have used cocaine at some point in their life, 4% have used in the past year)
    • Hallucinogens (not including ecstasy which is also known as MDMA) are also popular (26% have tried hallucinogens, 5.2% in the past year)
  • Mental wellness and addictions recovery support is available to NWT residents and includes the Community Counselling Program, NWT Help Line, several on the land and community-based options, and various facility-based treatment programs.
  • Funding for this initiative was provided from the Government of Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program.


Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Umesh Sutendra
Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
[email protected]
867-767-9052 ext. 49036


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