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Mental Wellness Summit 2022

On February 14 and 15, 2022, we hosted the first phase of the Mental Wellness Summit virtually.

From September 21 to 23, 2022, we hosted the second phase of the Mental Wellness Summit, which featured in-person and virtual attendance options.

Both Summits were free of charge and open to Yukoners.


Over the course of the 2 phases of the Mental Wellness Summit, leaders, partners, people with lived and living experience, and Yukoners interested in learning more about pressing mental wellness and substance use issues and initiatives joined the conversation.

The presentations, break out sessions and workshops led by local, national and international presenters helped inspire participants, identify mental wellness needs and collaborative solutions to support Yukoners and Yukon communities.

Participants at both phases of the Mental Wellness Summit were able to ask questions and share their thoughts through live polls.

How to share your feedback

Yukoners who wish to share their feedback about the Summit can do so by completing the Summit Evaluation Survey.

Mental Wellness Summit – Phase 2

Presenters at the Summit discussed a variety of mental wellness topics, including:

  • prevention;
  • treatment;
  • support and housing services;
  • aftercare and harm reduction models and solutions; as well as
  • update on the work underway to respond to the Substance Use Health Emergency declared earlier this year.

Day 1 speakers:

  • Dianne Smith, Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Hon. Tracy-Anne McPhee – Opening prayer and remarks
  • Yvonne Jack, Chantelle Shultz and Aaron Bailey – From Our Perspective
  • Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi – Pathways to Healing and Recovery through Indigenous Led Housing
  • Stephen Bartolo – Understanding our Spectrum of Care: Innovation, harm reduction and building community for all
  • Fran hunt-Jonnouchi, Stephen Bartolo, and Gigi McKee – Integrated Supports and Housing Based Wellness Spectrum Services: Best practices and gaps in the Yukon and across Canada
  • Aaron Bailey – ADHD and the Mental Health Connection: Depending Understandings (breakout)
  • Dr. Brenda Morrison, Nelly Oelke, Allison Kooijman and Cathy Almost – Restorative Processes: Preventing and healing from health care harms 
  • Tensley Koontz and Katy Rose – Turning to Nature as Co-therapist: Nature-based therapy as a thriving model to inform community mental health services 
  • Nadia Beyzaei – Relational Ways of Working: Addressing health inequities and reducing stigma through community-Engaged initiatives (breakout)
  • Dr. Leslie Lappalainen – Initiation of Suboxone Program in Rural Emergency Departments Across Interior Health
  • Alyssa Carpenter, Corrine Bullock, Bobbi-Rose Koe, Adanchilla Pauls, Cailyn Fraser-Harris and Alaina Joe Beadin – Creating Youth-led Programming in the Western Arctic Centred Around Cultural Values, Connection and Community Empowerment in Areas of Mental Wellness and Life Promotion 
  • Dr. Reagan Gale – More Than Worry: Recognizing and responding to anxiety 
  • Anoop Gill – 2SLGBTQIA+ Community Services 
  • Dr. Derek Bryant – Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services – Opioid Treatment 
  • Jen Smith, Anne Duriez and Erin McQuaig – Life Promotion and Suicide Prevention 
  • Dr. Reagan Gale – Mental Wellness Beyond Midlife (breakout)
  • The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation's Youth Action Group – Oshkiniijig Leading the Way for Life Promotion

Day 2 speakers:

  • Dr. Lucy Johnstone – The Power Threat Meaning Framework: A narrative-based approach to distress
  • Dr. Diana Kopua, Mark Kopua, Bronwyn Williams, Hinemoa Jones, James Thornton and Tina Ngata  – Strengthening Connections with Our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters
  • Will Landon, Marshall Morrisseau, Gabrielle Jubinbille and Connor Lafortune – Oshkiniijig Leading the Way for Life Promotion
  • Dr. Christopher Mushquash – Culture-Based Perspectives on Trauma and Substance Use Difficulties  
  • Mahi a Atua – A Journey Toward Freedom

Day 3 speakers:

  • Lindsay Ellis, Gigi McKee, Erin Linklater and Elias Park– Interactions with the Justice System: Innovations and Gaps
  • Dianne Smith and Hon. Tracy-Anne McPhee – Closing Prayer and Remarks


Yvonne Jack, Chantelle Shultz and Aaron Bailey

Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi

Dr. Brenda Morrison, Nelly Oelke, Allison Kooijman, and Cathy Almost

Dr. Derek Bryant

Will Landon, Marshall Morrisseau and Gabrielle Jubinville

Dr. Diana Kopua, Mark Kopuo, Bronwyn Williams, Hinemoa Jones, James Thornton and Tina Ngata

Lindsay Ellis, Gigi McKee, Erin Linklater and Bronte Renwick-Shields

Dr. Leslie Lappalainen

Jen Smith, Anne Duriez and Erin McQuaig

Stephen Bartolo

Dr. Lucy Johnstone

Dr. Reagan Gale

Tensley Koontz and Katy Rose

Dr. Regan Gale

Nadia Beyzaei

Aaron Bailey

Anoop Gill

Watch more

Mental Wellness Summit – Phase 1

Presenters at the Summit discussed a variety of mental wellness topics, including:

  • mental wellness for youth and in First Nations communities;
  • alcohol harm reduction models;
  • health care services in rural communities;
  • suicide prevention; as well as
  • harm reduction, opioids and safe supply projects.

Day 1 speakers:

  • MLA Jeremy Harper, member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly – youth harm reduction and recreation interventions
  • Tosh Southwick, IR Potential – reconciliation and cultural considerations in the Yukon’s mental wellness system
  • Dr. Roderick McCormick, professor and research chair at Thompson Rivers University and co-founder/leader of the National Aboriginal Health Research Steering Committee Kawatsire – Indigenous mental wellness and culturally appropriate healing approaches
  • Dr. Inga Eva Thorisdottir, chief analytics officer at Planet Youth – community-based youth prevention and alcohol reduction
  • Ben Macauley, executive director at Foundry – mobile mental health services in rural communities
  • Carol Hopkins, chief executive officer of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation – land-based services and the Native Wellness Assessment tool
  • Dr. Bernie Paulie, professor at the University of Victoria School of Nursing, Alexa Bisaillon, registered nurse at the Gwa’dzi Managed Alcohol Program and Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, director of housing development and research for the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness in Victoria – panel discussion about the benefits of alcohol harm reduction programs
  • Dr. Mark Tyndall, founder, MySafe Project – storage and distribution of a safe supply of opioids
  • Neil Lilley, BC Emergency Medical Services – Lifeguard App to prevent overdose deaths
  • Corey Ranger, clinical nurse lead, SAFER Victoria –  successes and challenges of implementing safe supply program amidst the backdrop of dual public health emergencies

Day 2 speakers:

  • Gary Bailie – personal story share
  • Stacey Robinson-Brown, health director (a/executive director) for the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Alex Hodgins, community harm reduction researcher and coordinator at Blood Ties Four Directions, and Todd Pryor, communities manager at Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services – panel discussion about a collaborative, new harm reduction project
  • Scott Elliot, executive director, Dr. Peter Centre – low-barrier pilot iOAT project in an integrated health care facility for people who use injection drugs
  • Abbey Gartner, communications and program coordinator, BYTE Yukon – prevention strategies and how to engage youth in mental wellness initiatives
  • Honourable Jeanie McLean, Minister of Education (Government of Yukon), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
  • Ed Mantler and Nitika Rewari, Mental Health Commission of Canada – community suicide project, Roots of Hope
  • Rebecca Penn, project manager, National Safer Supply Community of Practice and Alexandra Holtom, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) – safer supply practices across Canada


Mental Wellness Summit 2022: Opening prayer, remarks and story sharing

Tosh Southwick

Carol Hopkins

Dr. Roderick McCormick

Dr. Mark Tyndall

Ben Macauley

Dr. Inga Eva Thorisdottir

Corey Ranger

Neil Lilley

Abbey Gartner

Ed Mantler and Nitika Rewari

Hodgins, Robinson-Brown and Pryor

Rebecca Penn and Alexandra Holtom

Mental Wellness Summit 2022 - Opening remarks and Gary Bailie

Honourable Jeanie McLean

Scott Elliot



Phase 1 and 2 of the Mental Wellness Summit will help inform the Government of Yukon’s new Substance Use Action Plan that will build on the success of the territory’s first plan in 2018. It also forms part of the government’s response to the Substance Use Health Emergency.

Mental Wellness Summit Phase 1

Mental Wellness Summit Phase 2

Related resources

Free, in-person or phone-based counselling appointments are available for anyone. Call 867-456-3838 or toll-free 1-866-456-3838.



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