Information current

November 24, 2020

We're in Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Watch the latest video update. For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811, or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

New self-isolation requirements in effect as of Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m.

Mental health and wellness support during COVID-19

  • Manage your anxiety by:
    • checking the news only 1 or 2 times a day and at least half an hour before bed;
    • seeking information only from trusted sources such as local health authorities that provide guidance for your area and context specifically (the primary source of up-to-date and locally relevant information is Yukon.ca);
    • being aware that information from other jurisdictions may not always be directly applicable to Yukon’s situation; and
    • seeking practical information that helps you take care of your loved ones and yourself.
  • Empower yourself to take control of your mental health by incorporating basic self-care into regular routines, such as sleep hygiene, nutrition, exercise and accessing the outdoors safely. 
  • Turning to existing spiritual practices and community can be especially helpful at this time.
  • Mental health resources such Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services as well as The Canadian Mental Health Association: Yukon Chapter are for everyone. You might find these services useful even if you do not usually use them. 
  • Use clear communication to help people understand that mental health resources are for everyone and that people who may not ordinarily access mental health resources may require them during these unusually stressful times. 
  • Look for all the good being done in your community. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the struggle and uncertainty in the world. Opening our eyes to the good and kindness in our own backyards can help to change our perspectives. 

COVID-19 impacts everyone in the territory. Some Yukoners are more at risk of developing complications and may need additional supports. This includes people who are experiencing:

  • precarious housing or homelessness;
  • gender-based violence;
  • underlying health conditions; and
  • substance use or mental health challenges.

It also includes older adults and individuals with a disability.

Learn more about the supports in place to help vulnerable populations stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resources below from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are available to support people's mental health and wellness. Most of these services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some services have been altered to comply with the orders and recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

This list is not complete and services will change as Yukon moves through the pandemic reopening phases. If you would like to request an addition to the resource list please contact hssweb@gov.yk.ca.

Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services (MWSU)

This government service continues to offer Rapid Access Counselling (RAC) for adults. RAC is a short-term, counselling service with 1st appointment available within 72 hours. 

Families and children can access services through the Child Youth and Family Treatment Team (CYFTT). This team is a unit under the umbrella of MWSU. It includes counsellors who have access to specific resources for youth and families. Intakes for longer term counselling for both adult and CYFTT are ongoing and wait times are low. 

Incarcerated Yukoners or those involved with the legal system may access counsellors with knowledge and resources to serve this population. 

Online groups will be available with skills to manage:

  • anxiety; 
  • mood management; 
  • mental health; and 
  • substance use challenges.

These services are available free of charge to any Yukoner who would like to access them.

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 867-456-3838
Phone toll free: 1-866-456-3838

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division

This NGO supports clients who have mild to moderate mental health concerns. They also serve those with issues in relationships. A service is available for clients to access short-term counsellors within 3 days. Meditation, mindfulness and a cognitive behavioural therapy group are part of their offerings. Counselling services are available free of charge to any Yukoner. For now online services are free of charge as well. 

The Reach Out Support Line for Yukoners will connect callers to a volunteer. This volunteer service can assist people or refer them to an appropriate service.

Counselling services available in English and French.

Phone: 867-668-6429

The Reach Out Support Line

The Canadian Mental Health Association-Yukon also runs the Reach Out Support Line.  

The Reach Out Support Line (ROSL) is a volunteer-based, free support line. It is confidential and non-judgmental. The line operates from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Trained volunteers will support callers to find options, no matter how big or small the issue. 

Phone: 1-844-533-3030

Let’s Chat Yukon

Let’s Chat Yukon is a citizen-created service that promotes community connection. This phone line is for people to use to get to know their neighbours. Those hoping for human connection can call and a trained volunteer will get in touch. Phone calls will feature light conversation about mutual interests. This unique, community-driven effort increases connection between Yukoners. 

Phone: 867-332-2772
Toll-Free: 1-877-321-1001

Hospice Yukon

Yukoners come from all over Canada and all over the world. It is likely that Yukoners will be unable to travel to be with loved ones at their end of life right now. Hospice Society of Yukon offers telephone counselling free of charge. Yukoners in need of end of life and grief support can call. Print resources are available by phoning the office or email info@hospiceyukon.net

Phone: 867-667-7429

Sexualized Assault Response Team

Yukon's Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) is safe and confidential. This network of services focus on the individual’s needs and choices. If someone has experienced sexualized assault, SART can guide them through services. SART is still open right now. Yukoners may seek supports and services during the pandemic. Services available in French and English.

Phone: 1-844-967-7275

Wellness Together Canada

The federal government has an online mental health service. It includes:

  • online self-help resources;
  • access to a professional hotline (both voice and text enabled);
  • staffed by trained volunteers; and
  • access to counsellors on the phone in partnership with Homewood Health. 

Other collaborators on this partnership include: 

  • Kid’s Help Phone;
  • Bell Let’s Talk;
  • Greenspace;
  • The Canadian Psychological Association;
  • Canada Health Infoway;
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada;
  • Medavie; and 
  • Stepped Care 2.0. 

These services are available free of charge. 

Services available in French and English.

Find out more about Wellness Together

Crisis Services Canada

This national support line is accessible from anywhere in Canada. It helps people who are in active crisis, thinking of suicide, or know someone who is. The phone line is available 24/7/365 and a text service available from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time daily. 

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 1-833-456-4566 
Text: ‘Start’ to 45645

There are many supports by Yukon First Nation governments to support citizens. Supports are available for children and youth, families and Elders. First Nations citizens should contact their government for information about the services available. Both physical and mental health services are available.

Phone trees and other support services to connect with citizens.

Phone trees can help to assess how people are doing during current restrictions. Each caller can be a point of contact to identify if referral to other services are necessary.

Physical distance walks

Physical distance walks to allow community members to leave their homes. Connecting with someone in person can be important right now. This also helps people complete a healthy activity while maintaining appropriate distancing. 

Using different methods to connect with community members.

Using different methods to connect with community members. This can be useful as not all citizens have access to the same technology measures. Methods may include social media, email, radio, or community mail outs.

Working local Mental Wellness and Substance Use workers

1 First Nation is working with local Mental Wellness and Substance Use workers. They deliver iPads to citizens for use to attend conferences or medical appointments. This technology also helps people access other support services. 

Activity packages

Activity Packages are being delivered in communities to support families with children.

There are many supports by Yukon First Nation governments to support citizens. Supports are available for children and youth, families and Elders. First Nations citizens should contact their government for information about the services available. Both physical and mental health services are available.

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line

This service provides supports for former Residential School students. You can access referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line. This is for emotional support and crisis services.

Phone: 1-866-925-4419

Hope for Wellness

This is an anonymous phone line for any Indigenous person in Canada. It is open 365 days a year and 24 hours per day, staffed by Indigenous counsellors. 

Resources are available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. 

Phone: 1-855-242-3310
Find out about the online chat

The Golden Age Society

The Golden Age Society is partnering with other NGOs for services during COVID-19. There are no plans to cut back on support and remote services are available. 

Phone: 867-668-5538
Visit their website.

Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon

This NGO has changed their programming to meet the needs of Yukoners. They make daily check-ins over the phone with community elders and seniors. Virtual exercise and other classes are also offered. In some communities, RPAY have taught seniors how to use Zoom so that they can attend online classes. 

Phone: 867- 668-3010
Visit their website.

ElderActive Recreation Association (ERA)

ElderActive is a registered Yukon Society. It is open to all Yukon older adults 55+. Seniors can join wellness programming virtually or in-person following all public health guidelines.

ERA partners with other not-for-profits to deliver responsive programs and services.

Offerings include:

  • Tai Chi,
  • mindfulness and meditation,
  • art activities,
  • nature walks; and
  • hikes.

Yukon Learn and ElderActive also offer a Seniors Outreach Computer Technology Tutoring program. This will help older adults connect using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phone: 867-456-8252
Visit their website.

All Genders Yukon

This NGO provides mental health support services for trans, 2-spirit, and non-binary Yukoners. They also help their significant others, families, and immediate supports. Counsellors currently provide services in a modified way. The means of counselling depends on client need and follows physical distancing recommendations. 

Email: AGYSboard@gmail.com

Trans Lifeline

Staffed by transgender volunteers, this toll-free hotline is free of charge. The availability of the service depends on availability of volunteers. Callers may not get an answer every time they call.

1-877-565-8860
Visit their website.

Validation Station

This website sends a free text with the correct name and pronoun of the recipient. It can also send uplifting messages each day to people who request them. This can be validating to people who are unable to be open about who they are. This can be due to unsafe spaces or situations where people refuse to affirm gender identity. 

Visit their website.

Kaushee’s Place

Kaushee’s Place is accepting referrals for women and children. They have reduced capacity to half the beds to ensure physical distancing. They are also screening clients for symptoms that could put other clients and staff at risk. 

Phone: 867- 668-5733
Visit their website.

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre (VFWC)

The VFWC is operating in a reduced capacity. It still provides many services on a remote basis. The Safe Place program is handing out brown bag suppers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They serve drop-in lunches Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

The VFWC’s Housing Navigator is also available to assist clients. The Women’s Advocate will assist women and provide advocacy in some situations. There is a capacity to meet people in person if necessary. The direct line for the Women's Advocate is 867-490-0000. Clients cannot attend to the centre for laundry or showers. Toiletries can be provided if clients are in need. 

Phone: 867-667-2693
Visit their website.

Psychiatric Outreach Program

This program is for people aged 30 years and over. It helps those with a diagnosis of: 

  • bipolar;
  • schizophrenia; or 
  • psychosis.

It can help those who need the support of a mental health nurse.

This team provides support to manage these illnesses on a client's path to recovery. 

Early Psychosis Intervention

This program is for people aged 15 to 30. It helps those who have a diagnosis of: 

  • bipolar;
  • schizophrenia; or 
  • psychosis. 

It can help those who need the support of a mental health nurse. This team provides support and education to help people learn to manage psychosis.

Phone to request an intake for either service. 

Phone: 867-456-3838
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838

Many people with substance use issues are continuing to use during COVID-19. Some users are increasing their use or using more substances than usual due to stress. 

QuitPat

Smoking and vaping are high-risk activities for people that develop COVID-19. Smoking and vaping damage the lungs and weaken the immune system. This makes it harder to fight off the virus. If someone is ready to quit or reduce their use of tobacco products, QuitPath has a range of resources to help. 

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 867-667-8393 
Phone toll free: 1-866-221-8393

Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator (MWSU)

The Take-Home Naloxone program continues to operate. The naloxone coordinator is delivering kits on a weekly basis. Organizations like Blood Ties, Whitehorse Emergency Shelter and pharmacies are receiving deliveries. This program is also sending kits to communities outside Whitehorse as requested. 

The coordinator is able to do individual training from 2 metres (6 feet) away in person or on zoom. 

Phone: 867-332-0722

Withdrawal Management (MWSU)

Withdrawal Management's capacity is being reduced during COVID-19. 7 beds rather than the usual 14 are open. Depending on the needs of clients, fewer may be available at a given time. This service continues with government and NGO support. Many services are available and links to First Nation's governments are used.

Phone: 867-667-8473
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838 

Blood Ties Four Directions

This service has maintained a broad scope of services. The drop-in service remains open for limited numbers to allow for physical distancing. Blood Ties continues to operate a needle exchange. They provide: 

  • harm reduction supplies, 
  • snacks, 
  • warm beverages, 
  • hygiene supplies, 
  • socks, 
  • mittens, and 
  • Naloxone and fentanyl testing (at their Ogilvie location). 

The Outreach Van runs 6 nights per week. Fentanyl testing is on hold through the van. Outreach services encourages clients to stay home and allow the delivery of supplies. 

Phone: 867-633-2437
Visit their website.

With addiction-related challenges, people may need more social supports. Food, transportation, complex medical needs, and shelter may be needed. 

Opioid Treatment Services Clinic (MWSU)

The Opioid Treatment Services Clinic is accepting referrals for Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT). This therapy can help manage a substance use disorder. Please call for more information. 

Phone: 867-456-3838 
Phone toll free: 1-866-456-3838

Referred Care Clinic ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use (MWSU)

This MWSU clinic provides wrap-around physician, nursing, mental wellness and outreach support work. This service can help clients stay home. Delivery of necessities during COVID-19 is available. Prescriptions for suboxone rather than methodone can reduce the need for constant contact. To combat loneliness, outreach workers are calling patients 2 to 5 times per week. This takes the place of the drop-in service that was available before. Currently this clinic is only able to accept referrals from designated sites. 

Phone: 867-456-3838 
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838

Whitehorse Emergency Shelter

The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter provides transportation to home locations. If people have a safe place to go to and they are safe to do so, they can. Those who do not have a safe place to go or who are unsafe to be alone may stay at the shelter overnight. But they may only stay if they do not meet the mandate for other resources. These resources may be available through Withdrawal Management or the arrest-processing unit instead. Support workers and paramedics at the shelter can offer support. Unfortunately, they are not able to provide counselling. 

Phone: 867-455-2820

Mary House

This non-governmental faith-based organization continues to meet people at the door. They provide lunches, clothing, connection and kind support. They have provided a washroom for people who used to use other public washrooms. With these facilities closed to the public during COVID-19, a new need has arrived. Mary House has helped distribute phones to homeless women and those fleeing abuse.

Phone: 867-667-7146
Visit their website.

Blood Ties Four Directions

This service has maintained a broad scope of services. The drop-in service remains open for limited numbers to allow for physical distancing. Blood Ties continues to operate a needle exchange. They provide: 

  • harm reduction supplies, 
  • snacks, 
  • warm beverages, 
  • hygiene supplies, 
  • socks, 
  • mittens, and 
  • Naloxone and fentanyl testing (at their Ogilvie location). 

The Outreach Van runs 6 nights per week. Fentanyl testing is on hold through the van. Outreach services encourages clients to stay home and allow the delivery of supplies. 

Phone: 867-633-2437
Visit their website.

Autism Yukon

Autism Yukon (AY) provides regular services by telephone, email and Zoom during COVID-19. They have closed the sensory room for now and will notify others when it's in use again. With spectrum children at home full time, AY provides troubleshooting for situational behaviour. They are implementing a system that allows families to stay connected to professionals.

Phone: 867-667-6406
Visit their website

Disability Services

This Yukon government program provides support to Yukoners with disabilities. Services are available for all ages. Disability Services provides: 

  • respite care for families; 
  • access to counselling; and 
  • income support facilitation. 

Existing services would continue if the Yukon experiences community transmission during COVID-19.

Phone: 867-393-7464
Visit their website.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY)

FASSY continues to offer clients: 

  • outreach services; 
  • drop-in centre services; 
  • working with landlords;
  • providing financial support to ensure housing; 
  • supporting caregivers of people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; and 
  • advocacy for people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder during this pandemic. 

FASSY provides services in Whitehorse with some support also in Watson Lake. 

Whitehorse

Phone: 867-393-4948
Visit their website.

Watson Lake

Phone: 867-332-2772
Phone toll free: 877-321-1001

Special Olympics Yukon

Special Olympics Yukon has been:

  • posting on their Facebook page with Zoom workouts;
  • sending inspirational messages from athletes; and 
  • engaging other media to keep athletes engaged and motivated. 

They have a phone tree in place as well. This means that athletes still hear from their regular supports in the organization. 

Phone: 867-668-6511
Visit their website.

Teegatha’Oh Zheh

Teegatha’Oh Zheh has closed its public-facing office during COVID-19. They have put measures in place to allow work with their clients to continue. This includes:

  • private Facebook groups; 
  • Zoom activities;
  • sending packages that link to online components to finish with support staff; and 
  • having physical distancing birthday parties in streets and driveways of homes. 

The NGO has also assigned staff a caseload of clients to check in with daily. 

Phone: 867-668-4471
Visit their website.

Child Development Centre

For children aged 0-5, the Child Development Centre (CDC) remains open. The CDC supports children with distancing methods and, in emergency cases, in-person. Any in-person support will include appropriate screening measures. CDC has implemented telephone, email and other virtual platforms. They continue to take new referrals and support families in communities. The CDC can drop off materials to vulnerable families as required.

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-456-8182
Visit their website

Healthy Families

This Yukon government program supports the building of mental wellness in families. It continues to operate with limited in-home visits and programming. Drop-offs of materials and phone support are also available. Families can request a referral to this program in 2 ways. Either at the hospital at the time of birth, or anytime there is a pre-school age child in the home. 

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-667-3745
Visit their website.

Adult Mental Wellness Outpatient Services (MWSU)

This service offers intake for perinatal, mental health concerns and addiction. Clients with long or short-term therapy can call for intake services. This includes calling for a rapid access counselling (RAC) appointment. RAC appointments mean that you can speak to someone within three business days. 

Phone: 867-456-3838

Pacific Postpartum Support Society (PPSS)

PPSS is a free of charge text and telephone-based peer support society. This Vancouver-based society offers services in Yukon. They provide trained lay counselling and support to new parents. These services help those who experience mental health challenges in the postpartum period. 

Phone toll-free: 1-855-255-7999
Visit their website.

Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures

Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures programs are for parents of all genders. It's funded through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP). They offer food and access to professionals such as: 

  • nurses; 
  • dieticians; and 
  • other resources. 

Phone your local CPNP program to find out what they are offering during COVID-19. There are locations in Whitehorse and in the rural communities as well. 

French services available at Les Essentielles. 

Visit their website.

Partners for Children

This NGO offers the Mothering Your Baby psychosocial and nursing support group. They partner with the Whitehorse Health Centre and through Mother Goose groups. Registration is underway for the Mothering Your Baby group in May. Information about the online Mother Goose group is forthcoming. Parents in the postpartum stage may call for support over the phone. 

Phone: 867-332-5990
Visit their website.

Disability Services

This program provides support to families to care for children with a disability. They provide early intervention services to increase children’s learning potential. Therapy services are available via online platforms.

Available therapies include:

  • speech and language pathology;
  • occupational therapy; and 
  • behaviour consultants.

Support payments for families who have children with disabilities continue uninterrupted.

Phone: 867-393-7464
Visit their website.

Child Youth and Family Treatment Team (CYFTT) ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use

The CYFTT offers counselling sessions to children and youth. These services are available in Whitehorse and the communities for children aged 5 to 18. Services are currently offered via telephone, text, Zoom, and email. Counsellors are available for general and flexible support. This includes check-ins and drop ins, as well as regular sessions. The CYFTT also accepts intakes for the general public who have not been clients in the past. A counsellor will connect to referrals within 48 hours. 

This team provides information to parents and families who need parenting support. Online resources are in development.

CYFTT works with: 

  • schools;
  • group homes;
  • youth NGOs;
  • the hospital; and 
  • the Child and Youth Advocate’s office. 

They offer support, collaborate and take referrals, depending on the need.

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-456 3838
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838
Visit their website.

Youth Withdrawal Management Services (YWMS) ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use

Youth Withdrawal Management services serves youth. Those aged 14 to 18 who are experiencing withdrawal from substances can access YWMS. This program offers support to youth facing addiction and mental health problems. This facility is in the Sarah Steele Building. It continues to operate at half capacity to follow physical distancing requirements. This service does not foresee a reduction in service during COVID-19.

Phone: 867-667-5780 

Skookum Jim Friendship Centre Youth Shelter

Hours at the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre Shelter have extended to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service. Youth aged 17 to 24 are welcome as long as they are not under the influence of substances or alcohol. Meals and snacks are provided. The laundry facilities, shower, toiletries and kitchen available for youth to use. They are currently screening for COVID-19. If necessary, referral of youth to another facility can occur.

Phone: 867-633-7699
Visit their website.

BYTE

BYTE have closed their offices to the public. During COVID-19, they are hosting online space for youth to connect and have fun. BYTE is publishing free workbooks online that are similar their regular workshops. 

Phone: 867-667-7975
Visit their website.

The Boys and Girls Club of Yukon

The Boys and Girls Club of Yukon have had to close their offices to the public. They are hosting online space for children and youth to connect and have fun. They also offer a food service and family kit delivery. Contact them for more information.

Phone: 867-393-2824
Visit their website.
Visit their Facebook page.

Kid’s Help Phone

Kid's Help Phone is a national support service. They provide:

  • professional counselling; 
  • information and referrals; and
  • volunteer-led text-based support to young people. 

Services available in both English and French. 

Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Text: 686868

Jack.org

Jack is a free mental health resource for youth by youth. It's a partnership with School Mental Health Ontario and Kid’s Help Phone. 

Visit the website.

We matter campaign

This campaign is an online Indigenous youth-led mental health resource. It allows for support, suicide prevention and hope promotion. Free youth resources available on their website. 

Visit the website.

Frontline workers are best supported within their own organizations. Those in healthcare and those who work in high-risk environments have different needs. 

Not all providers need to seek counselling. Even if their workplace has been especially stressful, it may not be needed. However, it's important to enable access to counselling when it is warranted. It's more helpful is to ensure that these 5 evidence-based principles are followed:

  • Promote a sense of safety by giving healthcare providers accurate information on COVID-19. Knowing how they can protect themselves and their families is important.
  • Encourage calm by reinforcing active and positive coping skills. Providers can anticipate, understand, and manage their emotional and psychological reactions;
  • Re-establish a sense of control by ensuring providers receive guidance related to COVID-19.
  • Promote connectedness and mutual support by reinforcing natural support systems.
  • Instil a sense of hope that individuals take adaptive steps during difficult periods.

Employee Assistance Programs for short-term counselling

Many organizations have an Employee AssistanceProgram (EAP), which provides short-term counselling. EAPs offer help to address personal, family or work related concerns. They can assist with meaningful change and can offer counselling during COVID-19. These services also include access to self-guided online resources. 

Other funded options

Employers may not have programs set up but they should be aware of options for their employees. Yukoners can access counselling services through 2 main organizations. The Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services (MWSU) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). 

Trained counsellors can help with mental health concerns of all kind. Anxiety, depression and trauma related concerns are a main focus. 

The COVID-19 pandemic means different things for everyone. When faced with an ongoing traumatic situation out of their control, all people have a strong emotional response. However, our ability to cope will vary depending on resources, both internal and external.

 

How to help your mental health
  • Manage your anxiety by:
    • checking the news only 1 or 2 times a day and at least half an hour before bed;
    • seeking information only from trusted sources such as local health authorities that provide guidance for your area and context specifically (the primary source of up-to-date and locally relevant information is Yukon.ca);
    • being aware that information from other jurisdictions may not always be directly applicable to Yukon’s situation; and
    • seeking practical information that helps you take care of your loved ones and yourself.
  • Empower yourself to take control of your mental health by incorporating basic self-care into regular routines, such as sleep hygiene, nutrition, exercise and accessing the outdoors safely. 
  • Turning to existing spiritual practices and community can be especially helpful at this time.
  • Mental health resources such Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services as well as The Canadian Mental Health Association: Yukon Chapter are for everyone. You might find these services useful even if you do not usually use them. 
  • Use clear communication to help people understand that mental health resources are for everyone and that people who may not ordinarily access mental health resources may require them during these unusually stressful times. 
  • Look for all the good being done in your community. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the struggle and uncertainty in the world. Opening our eyes to the good and kindness in our own backyards can help to change our perspectives. 
Support for vulnerable populations

COVID-19 impacts everyone in the territory. Some Yukoners are more at risk of developing complications and may need additional supports. This includes people who are experiencing:

  • precarious housing or homelessness;
  • gender-based violence;
  • underlying health conditions; and
  • substance use or mental health challenges.

It also includes older adults and individuals with a disability.

Learn more about the supports in place to help vulnerable populations stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for your mental health and wellness

The resources below from governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are available to support people's mental health and wellness. Most of these services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some services have been altered to comply with the orders and recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

This list is not complete and services will change as Yukon moves through the pandemic reopening phases. If you would like to request an addition to the resource list please contact hssweb@gov.yk.ca.

Local mental health resources

Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services (MWSU)

This government service continues to offer Rapid Access Counselling (RAC) for adults. RAC is a short-term, counselling service with 1st appointment available within 72 hours. 

Families and children can access services through the Child Youth and Family Treatment Team (CYFTT). This team is a unit under the umbrella of MWSU. It includes counsellors who have access to specific resources for youth and families. Intakes for longer term counselling for both adult and CYFTT are ongoing and wait times are low. 

Incarcerated Yukoners or those involved with the legal system may access counsellors with knowledge and resources to serve this population. 

Online groups will be available with skills to manage:

  • anxiety; 
  • mood management; 
  • mental health; and 
  • substance use challenges.

These services are available free of charge to any Yukoner who would like to access them.

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 867-456-3838
Phone toll free: 1-866-456-3838

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division

This NGO supports clients who have mild to moderate mental health concerns. They also serve those with issues in relationships. A service is available for clients to access short-term counsellors within 3 days. Meditation, mindfulness and a cognitive behavioural therapy group are part of their offerings. Counselling services are available free of charge to any Yukoner. For now online services are free of charge as well. 

The Reach Out Support Line for Yukoners will connect callers to a volunteer. This volunteer service can assist people or refer them to an appropriate service.

Counselling services available in English and French.

Phone: 867-668-6429

The Reach Out Support Line

The Canadian Mental Health Association-Yukon also runs the Reach Out Support Line.  

The Reach Out Support Line (ROSL) is a volunteer-based, free support line. It is confidential and non-judgmental. The line operates from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Trained volunteers will support callers to find options, no matter how big or small the issue. 

Phone: 1-844-533-3030

Let’s Chat Yukon

Let’s Chat Yukon is a citizen-created service that promotes community connection. This phone line is for people to use to get to know their neighbours. Those hoping for human connection can call and a trained volunteer will get in touch. Phone calls will feature light conversation about mutual interests. This unique, community-driven effort increases connection between Yukoners. 

Phone: 867-332-2772
Toll-Free: 1-877-321-1001

Hospice Yukon

Yukoners come from all over Canada and all over the world. It is likely that Yukoners will be unable to travel to be with loved ones at their end of life right now. Hospice Society of Yukon offers telephone counselling free of charge. Yukoners in need of end of life and grief support can call. Print resources are available by phoning the office or email info@hospiceyukon.net

Phone: 867-667-7429

Sexualized Assault Response Team

Yukon's Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) is safe and confidential. This network of services focus on the individual’s needs and choices. If someone has experienced sexualized assault, SART can guide them through services. SART is still open right now. Yukoners may seek supports and services during the pandemic. Services available in French and English.

Phone: 1-844-967-7275

Federal mental health resources

Wellness Together Canada

The federal government has an online mental health service. It includes:

  • online self-help resources;
  • access to a professional hotline (both voice and text enabled);
  • staffed by trained volunteers; and
  • access to counsellors on the phone in partnership with Homewood Health. 

Other collaborators on this partnership include: 

  • Kid’s Help Phone;
  • Bell Let’s Talk;
  • Greenspace;
  • The Canadian Psychological Association;
  • Canada Health Infoway;
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada;
  • Medavie; and 
  • Stepped Care 2.0. 

These services are available free of charge. 

Services available in French and English.

Find out more about Wellness Together

Crisis Services Canada

This national support line is accessible from anywhere in Canada. It helps people who are in active crisis, thinking of suicide, or know someone who is. The phone line is available 24/7/365 and a text service available from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time daily. 

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 1-833-456-4566 
Text: ‘Start’ to 45645

Resources for Yukon First Nations

There are many supports by Yukon First Nation governments to support citizens. Supports are available for children and youth, families and Elders. First Nations citizens should contact their government for information about the services available. Both physical and mental health services are available.

Phone trees and other support services to connect with citizens.

Phone trees can help to assess how people are doing during current restrictions. Each caller can be a point of contact to identify if referral to other services are necessary.

Physical distance walks

Physical distance walks to allow community members to leave their homes. Connecting with someone in person can be important right now. This also helps people complete a healthy activity while maintaining appropriate distancing. 

Using different methods to connect with community members.

Using different methods to connect with community members. This can be useful as not all citizens have access to the same technology measures. Methods may include social media, email, radio, or community mail outs.

Working local Mental Wellness and Substance Use workers

1 First Nation is working with local Mental Wellness and Substance Use workers. They deliver iPads to citizens for use to attend conferences or medical appointments. This technology also helps people access other support services. 

Activity packages

Activity Packages are being delivered in communities to support families with children.

There are many supports by Yukon First Nation governments to support citizens. Supports are available for children and youth, families and Elders. First Nations citizens should contact their government for information about the services available. Both physical and mental health services are available.

Federal resources for Yukon First Nations and Indigenous people

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line

This service provides supports for former Residential School students. You can access referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line. This is for emotional support and crisis services.

Phone: 1-866-925-4419

Hope for Wellness

This is an anonymous phone line for any Indigenous person in Canada. It is open 365 days a year and 24 hours per day, staffed by Indigenous counsellors. 

Resources are available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. 

Phone: 1-855-242-3310
Find out about the online chat

Resources for seniors and Elders

The Golden Age Society

The Golden Age Society is partnering with other NGOs for services during COVID-19. There are no plans to cut back on support and remote services are available. 

Phone: 867-668-5538
Visit their website.

Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon

This NGO has changed their programming to meet the needs of Yukoners. They make daily check-ins over the phone with community elders and seniors. Virtual exercise and other classes are also offered. In some communities, RPAY have taught seniors how to use Zoom so that they can attend online classes. 

Phone: 867- 668-3010
Visit their website.

ElderActive Recreation Association (ERA)

ElderActive is a registered Yukon Society. It is open to all Yukon older adults 55+. Seniors can join wellness programming virtually or in-person following all public health guidelines.

ERA partners with other not-for-profits to deliver responsive programs and services.

Offerings include:

  • Tai Chi,
  • mindfulness and meditation,
  • art activities,
  • nature walks; and
  • hikes.

Yukon Learn and ElderActive also offer a Seniors Outreach Computer Technology Tutoring program. This will help older adults connect using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phone: 867-456-8252
Visit their website.

Resources for LGBTQ2IS

All Genders Yukon

This NGO provides mental health support services for trans, 2-spirit, and non-binary Yukoners. They also help their significant others, families, and immediate supports. Counsellors currently provide services in a modified way. The means of counselling depends on client need and follows physical distancing recommendations. 

Email: AGYSboard@gmail.com

Trans Lifeline

Staffed by transgender volunteers, this toll-free hotline is free of charge. The availability of the service depends on availability of volunteers. Callers may not get an answer every time they call.

1-877-565-8860
Visit their website.

Validation Station

This website sends a free text with the correct name and pronoun of the recipient. It can also send uplifting messages each day to people who request them. This can be validating to people who are unable to be open about who they are. This can be due to unsafe spaces or situations where people refuse to affirm gender identity. 

Visit their website.

Resources for women

Kaushee’s Place

Kaushee’s Place is accepting referrals for women and children. They have reduced capacity to half the beds to ensure physical distancing. They are also screening clients for symptoms that could put other clients and staff at risk. 

Phone: 867- 668-5733
Visit their website.

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre (VFWC)

The VFWC is operating in a reduced capacity. It still provides many services on a remote basis. The Safe Place program is handing out brown bag suppers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They serve drop-in lunches Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

The VFWC’s Housing Navigator is also available to assist clients. The Women’s Advocate will assist women and provide advocacy in some situations. There is a capacity to meet people in person if necessary. The direct line for the Women's Advocate is 867-490-0000. Clients cannot attend to the centre for laundry or showers. Toiletries can be provided if clients are in need. 

Phone: 867-667-2693
Visit their website.

Resources for people experiencing persistent mental health issues

Psychiatric Outreach Program

This program is for people aged 30 years and over. It helps those with a diagnosis of: 

  • bipolar;
  • schizophrenia; or 
  • psychosis.

It can help those who need the support of a mental health nurse.

This team provides support to manage these illnesses on a client's path to recovery. 

Early Psychosis Intervention

This program is for people aged 15 to 30. It helps those who have a diagnosis of: 

  • bipolar;
  • schizophrenia; or 
  • psychosis. 

It can help those who need the support of a mental health nurse. This team provides support and education to help people learn to manage psychosis.

Phone to request an intake for either service. 

Phone: 867-456-3838
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838

Resources for people with addictions

Many people with substance use issues are continuing to use during COVID-19. Some users are increasing their use or using more substances than usual due to stress. 

QuitPat

Smoking and vaping are high-risk activities for people that develop COVID-19. Smoking and vaping damage the lungs and weaken the immune system. This makes it harder to fight off the virus. If someone is ready to quit or reduce their use of tobacco products, QuitPath has a range of resources to help. 

Services available in French and English.

Phone: 867-667-8393 
Phone toll free: 1-866-221-8393

Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator (MWSU)

The Take-Home Naloxone program continues to operate. The naloxone coordinator is delivering kits on a weekly basis. Organizations like Blood Ties, Whitehorse Emergency Shelter and pharmacies are receiving deliveries. This program is also sending kits to communities outside Whitehorse as requested. 

The coordinator is able to do individual training from 2 metres (6 feet) away in person or on zoom. 

Phone: 867-332-0722

Withdrawal Management (MWSU)

Withdrawal Management's capacity is being reduced during COVID-19. 7 beds rather than the usual 14 are open. Depending on the needs of clients, fewer may be available at a given time. This service continues with government and NGO support. Many services are available and links to First Nation's governments are used.

Phone: 867-667-8473
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838 

Blood Ties Four Directions

This service has maintained a broad scope of services. The drop-in service remains open for limited numbers to allow for physical distancing. Blood Ties continues to operate a needle exchange. They provide: 

  • harm reduction supplies, 
  • snacks, 
  • warm beverages, 
  • hygiene supplies, 
  • socks, 
  • mittens, and 
  • Naloxone and fentanyl testing (at their Ogilvie location). 

The Outreach Van runs 6 nights per week. Fentanyl testing is on hold through the van. Outreach services encourages clients to stay home and allow the delivery of supplies. 

Phone: 867-633-2437
Visit their website.

Resources for harm reduction and shelter

With addiction-related challenges, people may need more social supports. Food, transportation, complex medical needs, and shelter may be needed. 

Opioid Treatment Services Clinic (MWSU)

The Opioid Treatment Services Clinic is accepting referrals for Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT). This therapy can help manage a substance use disorder. Please call for more information. 

Phone: 867-456-3838 
Phone toll free: 1-866-456-3838

Referred Care Clinic ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use (MWSU)

This MWSU clinic provides wrap-around physician, nursing, mental wellness and outreach support work. This service can help clients stay home. Delivery of necessities during COVID-19 is available. Prescriptions for suboxone rather than methodone can reduce the need for constant contact. To combat loneliness, outreach workers are calling patients 2 to 5 times per week. This takes the place of the drop-in service that was available before. Currently this clinic is only able to accept referrals from designated sites. 

Phone: 867-456-3838 
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838

Whitehorse Emergency Shelter

The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter provides transportation to home locations. If people have a safe place to go to and they are safe to do so, they can. Those who do not have a safe place to go or who are unsafe to be alone may stay at the shelter overnight. But they may only stay if they do not meet the mandate for other resources. These resources may be available through Withdrawal Management or the arrest-processing unit instead. Support workers and paramedics at the shelter can offer support. Unfortunately, they are not able to provide counselling. 

Phone: 867-455-2820

Mary House

This non-governmental faith-based organization continues to meet people at the door. They provide lunches, clothing, connection and kind support. They have provided a washroom for people who used to use other public washrooms. With these facilities closed to the public during COVID-19, a new need has arrived. Mary House has helped distribute phones to homeless women and those fleeing abuse.

Phone: 867-667-7146
Visit their website.

Blood Ties Four Directions

This service has maintained a broad scope of services. The drop-in service remains open for limited numbers to allow for physical distancing. Blood Ties continues to operate a needle exchange. They provide: 

  • harm reduction supplies, 
  • snacks, 
  • warm beverages, 
  • hygiene supplies, 
  • socks, 
  • mittens, and 
  • Naloxone and fentanyl testing (at their Ogilvie location). 

The Outreach Van runs 6 nights per week. Fentanyl testing is on hold through the van. Outreach services encourages clients to stay home and allow the delivery of supplies. 

Phone: 867-633-2437
Visit their website.

Resources for adults with intellectual disabilities

Autism Yukon

Autism Yukon (AY) provides regular services by telephone, email and Zoom during COVID-19. They have closed the sensory room for now and will notify others when it's in use again. With spectrum children at home full time, AY provides troubleshooting for situational behaviour. They are implementing a system that allows families to stay connected to professionals.

Phone: 867-667-6406
Visit their website

Disability Services

This Yukon government program provides support to Yukoners with disabilities. Services are available for all ages. Disability Services provides: 

  • respite care for families; 
  • access to counselling; and 
  • income support facilitation. 

Existing services would continue if the Yukon experiences community transmission during COVID-19.

Phone: 867-393-7464
Visit their website.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY)

FASSY continues to offer clients: 

  • outreach services; 
  • drop-in centre services; 
  • working with landlords;
  • providing financial support to ensure housing; 
  • supporting caregivers of people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; and 
  • advocacy for people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder during this pandemic. 

FASSY provides services in Whitehorse with some support also in Watson Lake. 

Whitehorse

Phone: 867-393-4948
Visit their website.

Watson Lake

Phone: 867-332-2772
Phone toll free: 877-321-1001

Special Olympics Yukon

Special Olympics Yukon has been:

  • posting on their Facebook page with Zoom workouts;
  • sending inspirational messages from athletes; and 
  • engaging other media to keep athletes engaged and motivated. 

They have a phone tree in place as well. This means that athletes still hear from their regular supports in the organization. 

Phone: 867-668-6511
Visit their website.

Teegatha’Oh Zheh

Teegatha’Oh Zheh has closed its public-facing office during COVID-19. They have put measures in place to allow work with their clients to continue. This includes:

  • private Facebook groups; 
  • Zoom activities;
  • sending packages that link to online components to finish with support staff; and 
  • having physical distancing birthday parties in streets and driveways of homes. 

The NGO has also assigned staff a caseload of clients to check in with daily. 

Phone: 867-668-4471
Visit their website.

Resources for children, youth and families

Child Development Centre

For children aged 0-5, the Child Development Centre (CDC) remains open. The CDC supports children with distancing methods and, in emergency cases, in-person. Any in-person support will include appropriate screening measures. CDC has implemented telephone, email and other virtual platforms. They continue to take new referrals and support families in communities. The CDC can drop off materials to vulnerable families as required.

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-456-8182
Visit their website

Healthy Families

This Yukon government program supports the building of mental wellness in families. It continues to operate with limited in-home visits and programming. Drop-offs of materials and phone support are also available. Families can request a referral to this program in 2 ways. Either at the hospital at the time of birth, or anytime there is a pre-school age child in the home. 

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-667-3745
Visit their website.

Adult Mental Wellness Outpatient Services (MWSU)

This service offers intake for perinatal, mental health concerns and addiction. Clients with long or short-term therapy can call for intake services. This includes calling for a rapid access counselling (RAC) appointment. RAC appointments mean that you can speak to someone within three business days. 

Phone: 867-456-3838

Pacific Postpartum Support Society (PPSS)

PPSS is a free of charge text and telephone-based peer support society. This Vancouver-based society offers services in Yukon. They provide trained lay counselling and support to new parents. These services help those who experience mental health challenges in the postpartum period. 

Phone toll-free: 1-855-255-7999
Visit their website.

Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures

Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures programs are for parents of all genders. It's funded through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP). They offer food and access to professionals such as: 

  • nurses; 
  • dieticians; and 
  • other resources. 

Phone your local CPNP program to find out what they are offering during COVID-19. There are locations in Whitehorse and in the rural communities as well. 

French services available at Les Essentielles. 

Visit their website.

Partners for Children

This NGO offers the Mothering Your Baby psychosocial and nursing support group. They partner with the Whitehorse Health Centre and through Mother Goose groups. Registration is underway for the Mothering Your Baby group in May. Information about the online Mother Goose group is forthcoming. Parents in the postpartum stage may call for support over the phone. 

Phone: 867-332-5990
Visit their website.

Disability Services

This program provides support to families to care for children with a disability. They provide early intervention services to increase children’s learning potential. Therapy services are available via online platforms.

Available therapies include:

  • speech and language pathology;
  • occupational therapy; and 
  • behaviour consultants.

Support payments for families who have children with disabilities continue uninterrupted.

Phone: 867-393-7464
Visit their website.

Child Youth and Family Treatment Team (CYFTT) ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use

The CYFTT offers counselling sessions to children and youth. These services are available in Whitehorse and the communities for children aged 5 to 18. Services are currently offered via telephone, text, Zoom, and email. Counsellors are available for general and flexible support. This includes check-ins and drop ins, as well as regular sessions. The CYFTT also accepts intakes for the general public who have not been clients in the past. A counsellor will connect to referrals within 48 hours. 

This team provides information to parents and families who need parenting support. Online resources are in development.

CYFTT works with: 

  • schools;
  • group homes;
  • youth NGOs;
  • the hospital; and 
  • the Child and Youth Advocate’s office. 

They offer support, collaborate and take referrals, depending on the need.

Services available in French and English. 

Phone: 867-456 3838
Toll-free: 1-866-456-3838
Visit their website.

Youth Withdrawal Management Services (YWMS) ‒ Mental Wellness and Substance Use

Youth Withdrawal Management services serves youth. Those aged 14 to 18 who are experiencing withdrawal from substances can access YWMS. This program offers support to youth facing addiction and mental health problems. This facility is in the Sarah Steele Building. It continues to operate at half capacity to follow physical distancing requirements. This service does not foresee a reduction in service during COVID-19.

Phone: 867-667-5780 

Skookum Jim Friendship Centre Youth Shelter

Hours at the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre Shelter have extended to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service. Youth aged 17 to 24 are welcome as long as they are not under the influence of substances or alcohol. Meals and snacks are provided. The laundry facilities, shower, toiletries and kitchen available for youth to use. They are currently screening for COVID-19. If necessary, referral of youth to another facility can occur.

Phone: 867-633-7699
Visit their website.

BYTE

BYTE have closed their offices to the public. During COVID-19, they are hosting online space for youth to connect and have fun. BYTE is publishing free workbooks online that are similar their regular workshops. 

Phone: 867-667-7975
Visit their website.

The Boys and Girls Club of Yukon

The Boys and Girls Club of Yukon have had to close their offices to the public. They are hosting online space for children and youth to connect and have fun. They also offer a food service and family kit delivery. Contact them for more information.

Phone: 867-393-2824
Visit their website.
Visit their Facebook page.

Kid’s Help Phone

Kid's Help Phone is a national support service. They provide:

  • professional counselling; 
  • information and referrals; and
  • volunteer-led text-based support to young people. 

Services available in both English and French. 

Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Text: 686868

Jack.org

Jack is a free mental health resource for youth by youth. It's a partnership with School Mental Health Ontario and Kid’s Help Phone. 

Visit the website.

We matter campaign

This campaign is an online Indigenous youth-led mental health resource. It allows for support, suicide prevention and hope promotion. Free youth resources available on their website. 

Visit the website.

Support for frontline workers

Frontline workers are best supported within their own organizations. Those in healthcare and those who work in high-risk environments have different needs. 

Not all providers need to seek counselling. Even if their workplace has been especially stressful, it may not be needed. However, it's important to enable access to counselling when it is warranted. It's more helpful is to ensure that these 5 evidence-based principles are followed:

  • Promote a sense of safety by giving healthcare providers accurate information on COVID-19. Knowing how they can protect themselves and their families is important.
  • Encourage calm by reinforcing active and positive coping skills. Providers can anticipate, understand, and manage their emotional and psychological reactions;
  • Re-establish a sense of control by ensuring providers receive guidance related to COVID-19.
  • Promote connectedness and mutual support by reinforcing natural support systems.
  • Instil a sense of hope that individuals take adaptive steps during difficult periods.

Employee Assistance Programs for short-term counselling

Many organizations have an Employee AssistanceProgram (EAP), which provides short-term counselling. EAPs offer help to address personal, family or work related concerns. They can assist with meaningful change and can offer counselling during COVID-19. These services also include access to self-guided online resources. 

Other funded options

Employers may not have programs set up but they should be aware of options for their employees. Yukoners can access counselling services through 2 main organizations. The Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services (MWSU) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). 

Trained counsellors can help with mental health concerns of all kind. Anxiety, depression and trauma related concerns are a main focus.