Pond Inlet searches for money to finish wellness centre

Building to house a remote counselling program

Chief administrative officer Dave Stockley said he’s hoping the Hamlet of Pond Inlet’s new wellness centre, located near the visitor and health centre, will be open at the beginning of July. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Hamlet of Pond Inlet is looking to open the doors of a new wellness centre where people can access remote counselling and programs for young mothers, but is still searching for $100,000 to complete the project.

People in the hamlet can already access the counselling service, which gives people the chance to develop a relationship with one counsellor, says Pond Inlet’s chief administrative officer, Dave Stockley. The wellness centre will give them a private place to do it.

The kitchen inside the wellness centre will be used for pre-natal programs, such as cooking classes, said Pond Inlet chief administrative officer Dave Stockley. (Photo by David Venn)

“Over a three-, four-year period, [patients] may have to tell their story five or six times because the counsellors have changed,” Stockley said. “There’s nothing worse than having to tell the same story to five or six or 10 counsellors.”

The hamlet has contracted Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services to supply counsellors, with funding mainly provided through the Department of Family Services.

The room at the wellness centre will be able to fit a family if necessary, and will have a TV in it for video calls. Residents can also access counselling through email or text messaging.

The 2,400-square-foot building, located close to the health and visitor’s centre, will also have office space, bathrooms, a lounge and food storage area and a kitchen.

It will also provide a space for the hamlet’s other wellness programs, which include a weekly gathering for elders, sewing programs, on-the-land activities and prenatal programming, Stockley said.

New and expecting mothers will be able to go to the wellness centre Tuesday evenings with their kids to socialize and cook meals, he said. Residents will then leave with food to cook the same meal at home.

Stockley says the hamlet is hoping to have the wellness centre up and running by the beginning of July, if it can get enough money to finish the project.

The hamlet has already spent $500,000, which comes from the Department of Community and Government Services gas tax fund, but needs about $100,000 more to finish it up.

The Department of Community and Government Services rejected an additional proposal for the extra money, because the hamlet had already received the maximum amount out of that pot of money for the year, and was told to apply next year.

“That’s the only problem sometimes with government programs — everything’s got to fit in a box,” Stockley said in an interview. “It’s frustrating.”

Now, he said, the hamlet is trying to shore up the rest of the money through private donors.

“What we’d have to do is close the building and wait till next year,” said Stockley.

“A year for $100,000 is a bit much when you’re talking that type of facility.”

Representatives from the Department of Community and Government Services could not be reached for comment.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Gus the Polar Bear on

    Maybe QIA can kick in a little tribute from the MILLIONS they have been hoarding from Baffinland?

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  2. Posted by Northerner on

    How worth of snowmoblies did our leaders give a way this winter in order to get people vacinated , would have been better spent on something like this.

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  3. Posted by Lives in Iqaluit on

    Here we have an extremely qualified and Nunavut experienced SAO and wasted opportunity for Pond Inlet to have had (maybe) Baffinland help the rest of this project.

    But no they didn’t want phase 2 and less than a month later have already the consequences of their actions.

    A clearly needed building for their community and already threatened.

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  4. Posted by Good Luck on

    Hmmmm i wonder where they could get money for this project……….land guardians?

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    • Posted by The Performative Slacktivist on

      Maybe Oceans North or Greenpeace can kick in the extra cash?

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    • Posted by Aputi on

      All them new things that they were going buy, they trew it out

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      • Posted by Aham on

        Baffinland agrees to many things and then getting it from them is like trying to collect money your cousin owes you from 3 years ago. Never happening.

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  5. Posted by Land guardians on

    The land guardians should fund this! While they’re at it get some funds to pay the families that’ll lose thier jobs in the coming months

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    • Posted by Plastic Tree on

      They blew all their extra cash on ghost writers

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  6. Posted by Dollar bills on

    I remember when Nunavut spent hundreds of millions of dollars on renting a few hotels. Now that was money well spent.

  7. Posted by Pond Inlet Resident on

    A pat on the back Dave; your efforts will not go unnoticed. you should get more support from your council

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  8. Posted by baffin resident on

    it is frustrating going to counsellors and having to retell your story over and over again, it does not get anywhere, its painful re-living all the stuff all over again. i chose counselling over the phone for 26 sessions. its helping me more than going to the local counsellor. its embarrassing having to walk through the health centre and everyone staring at you going to mental health. it is! for small communties, you’re crazy if you got to go to mental health. This is a step in the right direction.

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