The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to rethink how and what services they deliver in Nunavik. The Community Liaison Wellness Program, led by the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre CLSC, is one such organization.
For example, when the school in Kuujjuaq closed, several youth who depended on getting nutrition at school no longer had guaranteed access to a healthy breakfast and lunch. Anita Gordon, the head of the Wellness Program in Kuujjuaq, and her team decided to do something for these children and their families. Through a partnership with Newviq’vi, the Northern Store, local schools, CLSC and volunteers, they brought the Food Basket initiative to life, supplying food to low-income families with children. Donated breakfast and lunch items were collected and delivered to the doors of those in need of assistance.
The Community Liaison Wellness Program has two coordinators under each health centre to support local wellness workers with the goal of improving the well-being of Nunavimmiut through a variety of means, including offering educational and prevention and promotional activities, making sure there is a link between community members and services and that the services are adapted to Inuit culture. Each Nunavik community has a Local Wellness Worker, Kuujjuaq and Tasiujaq have Suicide Prevention Liaison Workers, and there are two Street Worker positions in Kuujjuaq.
The wellness program continues to support grieving families in every community as well, by supplying them groceries. If the wellness worker is absent, the social worker takes over the task.
The Ungava Wellness Program has had to pivot the way it does its work, yet thanks to its community workers, local businesses, and volunteers it has continued to help those in need. Anyone wishing to join the program’s team is encouraged to contact them.