Yukon improving access to psychiatric specialist services

The Government of Yukon has increased resident psychiatric support in Yukon to improve access to care for patients. There are now three resident psychiatrists working in the territory, based out of a new private practice in Whitehorse.

A new model of care has also been introduced. General psychiatric services are being provided at the private clinic and at Whitehorse General Hospital. Treatment services are offered through Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services and the Referred Care Clinic. This model takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to mental healthcare.

Over the coming year, the psychiatric group will also develop a plan to provide both in-person and virtual care to rural Yukon communities, as well as ensuring 24/7 on-call hospital coverage.

Improving the mental wellness of Yukoners is a priority of our government because we recognize that healthy minds are just as important as healthy bodies. This is yet another important step toward ensuring that Yukoners have the mental health supports they need, when and where they need them.

Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost

Now that we have a critical mass of specialists, it should be easier to attract and keep new psychiatrists in Yukon in the future. We are starting a number of innovative programs aimed at improving access to psychiatric and addictions care in all of our communities. We are also actively recruiting other psychiatrists to help us on a part-time or full-time basis. We are after a long-term, sustainable solution for psychiatric services in the territory. Doctors Jill Boyd, Dorothy Kuk and I are happy to be providing patient-centred care in a supportive environment.

Dr. Leo Elwell, Psychiatrist

Quick facts 
  • All three resident psychiatrists are Canadian-trained, fully qualified Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. One is also board-certified in Addiction Medicine.

  • Prior to this year, adult psychiatric services in Yukon were provided by one visiting psychiatrist and one resident psychiatrist in private practice.

  • Yukon will continue to be supported by a visiting geriatric psychiatrist.

Contact 

Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0480
stewart.burnett@gov.yk.ca 

Pat Living
Communications
Health and Social Services
867-667-3673
patricia.living@gov.yk.ca

News release #: 
20-001