Northwestel chips in some help for Kamatsiaqtut crisis line

Telecom donates $1,000 plus $3,000 of in-kind services


Northern Canada’s biggest telecommunications company has stepped in to help a well-known Nunavut mental health service that depends on the phone system for its existence: the 23-year-old Kamatsiaqtut Help Line.

“Northwestel recognizes the need to support mental health initiatives in northern Canada,” Bertrand Poisson, Northwestel’s general manager of Nunavut operations, said in a news release.

The company announced July 16 that it’s donating $1,000 in cash to Kamatsiaqtut, plus $3,000 worth of in-kind telecommunications services

Since 1990, the Kamatsiaqtut service has helped provide anonymous counselling to people in distress.

Taking turns, about 85 volunteers operate the help line from 7 p.m. to midnight every day.

Depending on who is working the phone line, callers can speak to people in English, Inuktitut or French, and its available to all Nunavut and Nunavik communities.

Northwestel’s donation will be used to help pay for the development and delivery of training to Kamatsiaqtut volunteers.

This past March, the Kamatsiaqtut service celebrate its 23d anniversary with a gala fundraiser in Iqaluit.

The Kamatsiaqtut help line can be reached in Iqaluit at (867) 979-3333 or toll-free at 1(800) 265-3333, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. eastern time, 365 days per year.

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