Fifty students from across the North attended a youth mental health summit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Saturday. The Northern Jack Summit, an event put on by, is part of a national effort to train and empower young people in how to think about mental health.

Co-organizers Shania Clark, a fourth year nursing student at Aurora College and Shelby Clarke, a student in the social work program drove the proceedings which included Kiera-Dawn Kolson as key speaker. Clark said in the North, there are unique challenges in mental health services, as they are often only available in capital cities if they exist at all.

Shania Clark, a fourth-year nursing student at Aurora College, helped facilitate a youth mental health summit that drew 50 northern young people from all three territories. Clark said it is important to recognize that mental health services need to be improved in the North. photo by Angela Gzowski and submitted by Shania Clark

The summit also touched on suicide rates among Indigenous peoples, the problems of wait times for mental health services and the need for greater cultural sensitivity and appropriate language when discussing mental health.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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