Mental Health Resources and Supports

GNWT Programs

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911 or visit your local health care centre.

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority strives to provide a wide range of services delivering rapid and flexible access to mental wellness and addictions recovery supports.

An expanded range of choices for support helps people find the best level of care, at the best time, as defined by themselves. Care solutions are based on what an individual is ready for, and considers the least intensive and most effective option.

Supports for NWT Residents

Community Counselling Program

The Community Counselling Program offers flexible in-person and virtual services for residents when and where they need it.

How can I access community counselling services?

  • Call your local office for a same-day or scheduled session;
  • See your Child and Youth Care Counsellor in your school; or
  • A referral from your health care provider or other helping professional.

How do we provide services?

  • Quick access when you need it, including drop-in or same-day appointments;
  • Scheduled sessions for when you want to plan ahead;
  • Expanded ways to connect: in-person, telephone, online, phone apps, written information, or group sessions;
  • Different levels of support to suit your preferences and needs.

What mental health resources can I access through the Community Counselling Program?

  • Check in sessions;
  • Individual counselling sessions;
  • Family counselling sessions;
  • Group counselling;
  • Support on how to help your loved ones;
  • E-Mental Health Resources;
  • Mental Health Awareness Activities;
  • Linking to other community mental health resources;
  • Referrals to specialized services;

Child and Youth TeleLink Program

The Child and Youth TeleLink Program is a partnership with the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, bringing improved access to a specialized Child Psychiatrist consultation through videoconferencing technology.

A Child Psychiatrist is a doctor who is knowledgeable about helping children and youth with mental health concerns. They are experienced at talking to children, youth and families about their thoughts, worries and behaviours.

This consultation service offers primarily a one-time assessment with a Child Psychiatrist who will then provide a clinical impression and treatment recommendations. The Psychiatrist will share these recommendations with your local health care team, who will help you follow through on the recommendations (e.g. medication recommendations will be prescribed by your local practitioner).

The Child and Youth Mental Health Coordinator associated with this program is a Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse with specialized experience in Child and Youth Mental Health. They are able to work with the family and local health care team to support the referral process to the TeleLink Mental Health Program, and can provide care planning support with the child/youth’s local care provider.

Talk to your local health care provider or counsellor for a referral to the program, or email

Strongest Families Institute (SFI)

The Strongest Families Institute (SFI) delivers distance services to families primarily via telephone. There is no wait list and appointment times are scheduled around what works for the family – whether during the day, evening or night. Programs are customizable to each family and are developed for those experiencing mild to moderate conditions before they become more severe.

All programs offered through SFI are accessible to NWT residents. The programs include:

  • ICAN (Conquer Anxiety and Nervousness) – Anxiety Program (18-30 years of age);
  • Parents Empowering Kids – Behaviour Difficulties Program (3-12 years of age);
  • Chase Worries Away – Anxiety Program (6-11 years of age);
  • Defeat Anxiety – Anxiety Program (12-17 years of age);
  • Dry Nights Ahead – Nighttime Bedwetting (5-12 years of age); and
  • Chase Pain Away – Recurrent Headache/Abdominal Pain (9-16 years of age).

In addition to individual sessions, this program also offers group-based options. When possible, clients are encouraged to participate in these group-based options, as this will allow them to provide support to as many families and clients as possible.

To make it easier to access their services, the Strongest Families Institute is currently accepting self-referrals into the program. Contact the program directly by emailing them at, or you can request help from your local Community Counsellor to make the referral.

Opioid Maintenance Therapy Program

The Opioid Maintenance Therapy Initiative was designed to help meet the needs of individuals struggling with Opioid Use Disorder. Run out of the Yellowknife Primary Care Centre, it is available for people using street-based opioids such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone (percs, percocet), or codeine, or struggling to control their use of prescribed opioids. Individuals who use this service are provided options for treatment, such as opioid replacement medications (methadone, suboxone), counselling, and/or residential out-of-territory treatment.

For more information, click here.


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Supports for GNWT Employees

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) / LifeSpeak

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and LifeSpeak are resources on emotional and mental health available to GNWT employees and their families. These services are available 24/7, and can be accessed by telephone, web or mobile app.
Visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR for more information on these two resources, as well as more tips and tools to help maintain and support healthy emotional and mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the Employee and Family Assistance Program, click here.

To access LifeSpeak, click here.


If you are a GNWT employee who needs support dealing with anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, AbilitiCBT is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support.

AbilitiCBT provides one-on-one meaningful support for any GNWT employee who may be struggling with anxiety and looking for a more personalized approach in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. AbilitiCBT provides support dealing with: uncertainty, isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management.

This app-based program is delivered by professionally trained therapists through an online platform accessible 24/7 from home or anywhere through smartphone or tablet.

Sign up by completing an online questionnaire at

  • A therapist will contact you to schedule a consultation via phone or video chat to confirm and assess needs;
  • You will then be supported in working through 10 modules – these modules are available as a resource for the employee for 12 months from registration;
  • A therapist will track and monitor your progress throughout this process