Mental Health Training for the Department of Health at the Government of Nunavut

Dec 9th, 2017  |  News

We worked with the Department of Health at the Government of Nunavut to offer an 11-day mental health training program for a diverse group of health professionals.

One of our facilitators flew out to Rankin Inlet; an Inuit Hamlet on Kudluik Peninsula in Nunavut Canada, to conduct the training. The training brought together a group of health practitioners from the surrounding communities to reflect on topics impacting the communities they work in.

Nicole Elliott, Facilitator in Rankin Inlet Nunavut

Our Facilitator, Nicole Elliott, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development in the Clinical and Counselling Psychology Program at OISE, reflects on the training experience:

“It was such an incredible opportunity to provide training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). As part of the training, I was able to provide clinical support for mental health care providers in Nunavut. The learners who received the training had various backgrounds in social work and nursing, but one thing they all had in common was that they were working with very profound and complex mental health issues. The training not only gave them more therapy tools to utilize in their communities but also provided a space to connect with one another, receive validation and support for the work they had been doing prior to the training and to share their experiences.The training included cultural considerations and adaptations to both the CBT and DBT models that included Indigenous worldviews and healing approaches. We discussed the historical impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma and how that could be conceptualized into the clinical work. This part of the training was valued strongly by the learners and was noted by myself to be an important part of the training.”

Nicole had more to say about the value of bringing training opportunities to remote communities:

“Many of the learners were coming from remote Inuit communities. I think training opportunities like this are important and needed, especially for our healthcare providers who are working in remote places, with few resources and supports for people with significant mental health issues. I was very privileged to be with such an incredible group of people who shared their stories of what brought them to Nunavut as well as what they love about living and working in their communities.”

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