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ACCESS Open Minds - Ulukhaktok

Opening Event was July 25.

What is ACCESS Open Minds?

ACCESS Open Minds is a pan-Canadian research and evaluation network that marks a major innovation in how youth mental health services in Canada are designed, delivered, and evaluated.

Across 14 participating services sites – located in 6 provinces and 1 territory – teams of mental health service providers are using a common research and evaluation program that was co-developed with, youth, families/carers, and service providers, to evaluate how they provide their services. ACCESS Open Minds is generating new knowledge about youth mental health services in diverse contexts across Canada to ensure that Canadian youth receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Link to ACCESS Open Minds release with more information about their work: Three cheers for the launch of the new youth space in Ulukhaktok!

Mental Health and Wellness Programming Adapted to the Youth of Ulukhaktok


Monday, June 24, 2019 – Together in partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and the Ulukhaktok Community Corporation, ACCESS Open Minds Ulukhaktok (Northwest Territories) is celebrating the public launch of the ACCESS OM youth space. This initiative is part of the ACCESS Open Minds project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Graham Boeckh Foundation. The ACCESS OM framework is designed to provide 11- to 25-year-olds with rapid access to youth-friendly wellness programming and connections to mental health services. There are currently 14 active service sites across Canada. The ACCESS OM Ulukhaktok project is under the clinical supervision of Meghan Etter of the IRC, and the day-to-day operations are overseen in partnership with Ulukhaktok Community Corporation.


This public launch event will take place on Thursday, July 25, 2019 starting at 4:30pm in the afternoon, beginning at the Ulukhaktok Community Hall, and moving to the ACCESS OM Youth Space by 6:00pm.


Connections to meaningful activities


ACCESS OM Ulukhaktok’s mission is to provide the community’s youth with connections to wellness programming and, if needed, mental health services, in order to improve the wellness of the community as a whole.


ACCESS OM Ulukhaktok aims to make these services and this programming more readily accessible to the youth of Ulukhaktok, as well as to their family members and loved ones by taking the approach that connections to cultural programming, including on-the-land activities and other activities that the youth find to be meaningful to them, is a best practice in front-line health and social services.


The ACCESS OM Ulukhaktok activities are led by two ACCESS Youth Workers, members of the community who act as leaders, guides, and supports to youth and families that participate in the ACCESS OM activities. Community members of all ages identified that it is important that such activities highlight connections to Inuvialuit culture and traditional skills, and incorporate Inuvialuit-specific approaches to wellness. Through engaging youth and their families and carers in these activities, the ACCESS OM team, along with the community members involved, and working to strengthen support systems both within the community and the region, with the ultimate aim of improving youth access to mental health care, if and when needed. 


Designed for and with young people


Because the ACCESS OM project is built on the premise that youth are central to the services they receive, its success depends on the participation of youth and their families and carers. Young people are valuable experts in helping to develop youth-friendly services, and that’s why they have been consulted throughout the creation of the ACCESS OM project, from project grant writing, to the development of local youth spaces across the country, and in their active participation in and direction of a National Youth Council. Youth in Ulukhaktok have participated in the conception and development of ACCESS OM since 2016, and the site team is looking forward to celebrating the official launch of the new youth space with youth, community members and partners, as well as other policymakers and stakeholders.


To learn more about the pan-Canadian ACCESS OM project, visit



For more information about ACCESS OM Ulukhaktok and this event, please contact:

Meghan Etter

Manager, Counselling Services

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation