Ktunaxa Nation declares Mental Health State of Emergency

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By Haley Grinder, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A state of emergency has been officially declared regarding the looming mental health crisis within Ktunaxa Territory (?amak?is). The governments involved with the executive call are Ktunaxa Nation, Yaq?it ?a·knuq?i?it, ?akisq?nuk, Yaqan Nu?kiy and ?aq?am.
“The Ktunaxa governments are proud of our work on the frontlines during these crises, and we are doing the best that we can, with the resources we have, and with the support of our local health authority and local community partners,” said Debbie Whitehead, Ktunaxa Nation Council Social Sector Senior Manager in a press release.
“However, our region continues to have a shortage of psychiatrists and it is time we work together to look at ways we can meet the immediate needs of vulnerable people, through exploring the transfer of the function of duties or increasing the scope of practice of nurse practitioners, similarly to what was done to address the pandemic and opioid crisis," adds Whitehead. "Many of our vulnerable adults have complex needs but the...continued.

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