NEWS: Nunavik June 03, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Kativik employees offered round-the-clock support

Trilingual counselling program free, confidential


The Kativik Regional Government is now offering around-the-clock counselling for its employees in crisis.

The KRG’s 329 employees and the 74 employees of the Kativik Regional Police Force will now have access to 24-hour support by telephone or teleconference.

And for the first time at a regional organization, that counselling will be offered in English, French and Inuktitut.

The KRG’s Employee and Family Assistance Program was recently implemented to help staff and their families cope with personal difficulties, including addiction, depression, family problems, grief or domestic violence.

“We offer support for any employee dealing with a difficult time in their life,” said Isabelle Proulx, the director of the KRG’s human resources department. “Sometimes it can have repercussions on their work life.”

Proulx said that while the workplace is designed to be a support environment for employees, KRG staff are not necessarily trained to respond to colleagues in distress.

Under the program, employees can pick up the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and call 1-800-361-4858 to speak with a counsellor.

Calls are answered in English or French, while counselling in Inuktitut requires an appointment.

“It was important to us that this program was offered in [Inuit employees’] first language,” Proulx said. “We’re very happy to be able to offer this.”

The calls are free of charge and confidential, Proulx said.

The KRG’s human resources department is also moving ahead with its management succession plan, an initiative to prepare Inuit employees to move into management positions.

The KRG’s most recent statistics show that while Inuit make up 63 per cent of its workforce, only 30 per cent of managers are Inuit.

To change that, the human resources department has identified five employees who have expressed an interest in moving up. Each of those employees will be assigned a mentor — a senior KRG staff — to help guide them through the process.

The development of the next generation of managers will take two or three years, the KRG said.