Government of Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada support Indigenous Mental Wellness in Northwest Territories

$500,000 will support Mental Wellness Teams in the territory

April 11, 2018 – Yellowknife, NT – Indigenous Services Canada

Accessibility to supports and services is essential to addressing the mental health needs of Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada and the Government of Northwest Territories are committed to improving access to necessary mental wellness services for Indigenous Peoples in the territory.

Today, Member of Parliament Michael McLeod, on behalf of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services for the Northwest Territories, announced an investment of $500,000 to support Mental Wellness Teams across the territory. This builds on previous investments over the past two years.

The funding will support new and existing Mental Wellness Teams and projects in place to improve access to mental health services while strengthening existing community supports for Indigenous Peoples.

In the Northwest Territories, the funding is being administered in partnership with the NWT On the Land Collaborative, allowing for the enhancement and expansion of mental wellness programs administered on the land throughout the territory. Delivering programming on the land respects the unique cultural aspects of mental wellness for Indigenous peoples. The team approach supports mentorship and sustainability planning, and provides projects with the expert resources they need to maximize the impact of this funding investment for individuals and communities.


“Our government recognizes that the mental health challenges facing Indigenous people, particularly youth, are deep-rooted and complex. As such, a multi-faceted and collaborative response is required. Today’s announcement to invest in Mental Wellness Teams in the Northwest Territories is one example of the important work that must be done to improve access to services and support the mental health of Indigenous Peoples in the territory.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“In the Northwest Territories we have seven Mental Wellness Teams that provide services to our residents in their communities where they are needed the most. The funding announced today will enhance the work of the Mental Wellness Teams as they provide day-to-day mental health services that include assessment, intake and aftercare as well as community outreach with events like sharing circles and land-based programming.  The Government of the Northwest Territories has made it a priority to provide all residents of the Northwest Territories with culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services.”

Glen Abernethy
Minister of Health and Social Services for the Northwest Territories

“Being on the land is an important part of mental wellness for Indigenous people. The mental wellness team approach provides us with expert services, mentorship, and resources to support programming for community members that reconnects them with themselves, each other, our culture, and the land itself.”

Chief Wilfred McNeely Jr.
K’asho Got’ine Charter Community

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada invests over $350 million annually for community-based mental health and addictions programming on-reserve and in the territories.
  • The $500,000 in funding announced today will continue to support Mental Wellness Teams in the territory through 2018/19.
  • Previously the Government of Northwest Territories received $250,000 in 2016/17 and $500,000 in 2017/18 to support these teams.
  • As of March 31, 2018, the Government of Canada supports 45 mental wellness teams that serve over 326 communities across Canada.
  • Mental Wellness Teams are designed and driven by communities, with a strong emphasis on enhancing cultural safety and, collaboration between community experts and others who provide client-centered care.
  • The Mental Wellness Teams provide a range of ongoing, day-to-day mental health services such as::
    • assessment and intake, referrals, aftercare, cultural counselling, clinical services, Elder advisory service, mental health intervention counselling, community outreach, group/sharing circles, cultural ceremonies, land-based programs, training, and individual support. etc.

Associated links


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Phone: 867-767-9140  Ext. 11092

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


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