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Nunavik’s new treatment centre gets funding boost

Indigenous Services Canada invests $6 million into Isuarsivik upgrade

By SARAH ROGERS

The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre in Kuujjuaq, plans for which are pictured here, secured $6 million in funding through Indigenous Services in late October. (FILE PHOTO)


The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre in Kuujjuaq, plans for which are pictured here, secured $6 million in funding through Indigenous Services in late October. (FILE PHOTO)

Plans to open a new, expanded treatment centre in Nunavik just got a multi-million-dollar boost from the federal government.

The Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre in Kuujjuaq secured $6 million in funding through Indigenous Services in late October, a sizeable contribution to the $37-million facility that aims to open in 2021.

“The mission pursued by the centre is well in line with the objective of the Government of Canada to support Indigenous health by enhancing culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention services,” Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott wrote in an Oct. 29 letter to Isuarsivik’s board of directors.

Isuarsivik’s board of directors say they need just $20 million more to realize their construction budget, money the group hopes to secure through other federal departments.

Isuarsivik currently offers a six-week treatment cycle for up to nine clients in its existing facility, though the program turns away more clients than it can treat.

The centre’s board of directors have big plans to replace the 70-year-old building with a new, expanded facility that could accommodate 20 clients at the time, plus additional facilities for family members.

The new Isuarsivik centre hopes to employ 42 staff members, including an on-site psychologist, nurse and family therapists.

The treatment centre will be constructed on Nuvuuk Bay along the Koksoak River—a location just on the outskirts of the town of about 2,400 people.

Preliminary planning work has already begun, with road access and staff housing construction planned for next summer, while the main facility would be built in 2020.

The latest injection of funding comes as the region is struggling to cope with a higher than usual wave of suicides among its youth, which appears to have motivated the timing of the latest contribution.

“I would also like to share my sincere concern for the recent loss of young lives by suicide in Nunavik,” Philpott wrote in her letter.

“My heart goes out to the families and communities so significantly impacted. This speaks to the importance of all partners working together to respond to these health crises comprehensively.”

To reach one of Isuarsivik’s counsellors or to register for treatment, call 819-964-2592.

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