The Umingmak Centre is doing great work in Iqaluit. We have created 7 new services available to children, youth and families who are experiencing trauma: 1) child and youth specific, Nunavut-centred trauma therapy 2) pediatric clinic for client 3) cultural counselling for caregivers 4) Nunavut-specific trauma therapy assessment development and training 5) Community of Practice for practicing mental health professionals 6) child intervew coordination of Police and Child and Family Services 7) subject matter expertise.
We have created a healing space for Elders and cultural counsellors.
From our caregivers: A mother upon her first visit with her daughter to the Umingmak Centre said, “I wish this was available for me when I was abused as a child…I am so happy that she will finally get the support that she needs…I am so thankful that this exists”.
From one of our advocates: Since I have started my position at the Umingmak Centre, there have been various positive changes. We have been able to create good relationships with our partners since the opening of the centre and I have noticed a stronger sense of communication between our team and our partners. I have also noticed a general increase in awareness of our organization. Because of the clearer communication and the increased awareness, the cases that come through the centre run a lot smoother in the process compared to the beginning. Our team has been able to reach out and connect with organizations and programs beyond our partners (e.i. the women’s shelter, the soup kitchen, and more) to be able to work together and help those in the community who need it most.
From a partner doctor: “the collaboration we have between partners was not here before the Umingmak Centre.”
From one of our Elder counsellors: When one of the Elder Ilisaqsivik counsellors came to the Centre to meet with us and discuss working with the caregivers, she had tears in her eyes. She took off her glasses to wipe her eyes and told us that when she was a girl, she dreamed of a place like this to help her people.
The Umingmak Centre has been open for 5 and half months. We have coordinated 31 investigations with the RCMP Special Victims Unit, Child and Family Services and the paediatricians. We see 3-4 clients and their families per day for follow-up services and therapy, and have held bi monthly clinics for pediatricians to provide follow-up exams.
During the COVID pandemic, we have closed the Centre except for investigations of abuse. Many of our clients don't have access to internet due to a lack of devices so we have purchased tablets so we can connect and continue therapy sessions. We also loaded them with educational and wellness activities. We have created wellness care packages and given out food vouchers. We have also started one-on-one outdoor activities with each client so that our advocates can still maintain the relationship.
We still continue interagency meetings meetings with our partners online. After 2 community consultations, meeting with over 40 partners, we developed a Nunavut-specific mental health assessment for children and youth and a training program for professionals and paraprofessionals who wish to increase their skill and knowledge working with children and youth. A community of practice has arisen out of the group that attended training and continues to meet bi monthly online.
The Umingmak Centre officially opened October 15, 2019. We have 2 Inuit advocates and one clinical director of child and youth specific therapy. We have had great responses from clients and their caregivers. Many of the caregivers say they wish this service had been around when they were young and many of the kids connect with our advocates so well they want to come back to see them more often than they are scheduled for appointments.
Our partners are working very well together, we have 100% attendance at meetings and trainings. Service coordination of different departments and agencies is challenging and will require continuous relationship building to bring all partners together in a constructive way.
The database is working well, our logic model and indicators have been created. The collection of data is ongoing and we won’t be doing a full evaluation this year. We will be monitoring for learning.
Our clinical director and advocates are working with our partners to development a Nunavut-appropriate framework for counsellors, clinical therapists, and paraprofessionals that work with children and youth. We have had 2 workshops with multiple stakeholders to determine a) what practices are already being done b) what training is needed by each partner c) how we can create appropriate assessment and treatment for Nunavummiut.
We are looking for funding to create a new healing space for Inuit counsellors and Elders to work with the caregivers. This will be a space to connect to culture and healing through activities and counselling (See picture 8 for our vision).
The Umingmak Centre was one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls recommendations, under Calls for Justice for Inuit, section 16.39. We also won the Canadian Social Pediatrics Award (see picture 9).
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to Arctic Children and Youth Foundation today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.