Look inside our high-tech learning studios where students are preparing today for the world of tomorrow.

Click here to see more.

When youth from the district need more care for mental health issues, they're supposed to be sent to a stabilization unit in Thunder Bay. However, the CEO for the North West Integration Network, Laura Kokocinski, says the beds allocated for the region may not be available.

"The regional health sciences centre currently receives funding to support a four-bed inpatient child and adolescent mental health unit, for children up to 16 years of age living with acute mental health issues," she said in an email.

"Patient volumes in the unit often exceed capacity, and in overcapacity situations, children are admitted and cared for in the pediatric inpatient unit," Kokocinski added.

Executives in the health system say they're aware of the gaps, when it comes to youth in crisis, and they're taking measures to try and fill them. Kokocinski outlined these measures in a recent email.

kokocinski   lauraLaura Kokocinski of the North West Local Health Integration NetworkFor example, she says they're working with multiple partners to ensure a comprehensive continuum of mental health and addictions services, such as crisis response, counseling, case management, supportive housing, psychiatry and withdrawal management.

She added the network also has a multi-pronged strategy, and they're working with multiple partners to ensure clients with mental health and addictions needs receive safe, quality care at the right time and in the right place.

In her email, Kokocinski also noted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the North West Local Health Integration Network primarily provides mental health resources through hospitals, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, mental health and addictions agencies and other providers located in municipalities.

In Kenora, a youth crisis response committee, which includes a number of organizations in the District of Kenora  -- Abinoojii, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Firefly, Dryden Crisis Response and Lake of the Woods District Hospital -- has been responding to the youth crisis in the District of Kenora by providing after-hours services for children and youth with a 24-hour hospital based service responding to youth in crisis In the interim, the CEO noted.

Early in the year, Kenora-area mayors and First Nation leaders announced they were moving towards more cooperation, in an effort to improve health care. This reflects the province's desire to save health care costs through integration, as part of their Patients First policy.

Late last year, the Minister for Children and Youth Services, Michael Coteau, also talked about the need for partnerships and integration, when it came to closing gaps in the child welfare system. His comments followed a troubling report on the gaps in the system.

When it comes to services to indigenous mental health services, the provision of mental health resources within First Nations is primarily done through Health Canada First Nations Inuit Health Branch, Kokocinski noted. However, recognizing the immediacy of needs in many communities, Kokocinski the North West Local Health Integration Network and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have assisted in the following ways when crises occur:

  • Direct funding has been provided to various communities for increased counselling, youth safety patrols, and service coordination for youth and families in crisis.
  • The North West Local Health Integration Network actively maintains contact with communities and service providers to respond to declared states of emergencies due to mental health crises. For urban Indigenous persons, the North West Local Health Integration Network depends on communication from stakeholders and health service providers to understand capacity issues.

Since 2007-2008, the province's child advocate, Irwin Elman, has been lobbying for better supports for children in care, especially those from indigenous families.

In the Kenora area, families have been asking for a response from the regional coroner, regarding the death of 14-year-old Azraya Ackaby Kokopenace, who passed away near the hospital last spring.

First Nation chiefs would like to see coroner's inquests become mandatory, whenever a youth in care dies.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Health Equity Branch has been working with the child and adolescent health unit to fund a proposal enabling the continuation of programming to address ongoing operating pressures, the CEO noted.

Due to recent crisis in northern communities, Kokocinski acknowledged a number of youth have recently been admitted to the child an adolescent health unit, and the hospital has increased resources accordingly to meet this increased demand.

For more information:

Ontario reintroduces legislation to further improve patient access and experience

Services board to discuss Patients First health care reforms

Health care hubs to combine aboriginal, mainstream

Health unit balks at merger with hospital boards

Minister pledges reforms for children's mental health

Ontario Auditor General's Report - Child and youth mental health

Ministry of Children and Youth Service - Moving on Mental Health

National distress line to offer culturally-appropriate supports

Look inside our high-tech learning studios where students are preparing today for the world of tomorrow.

Click here to see more.

More Local News

Eyes in the sky

The City of Kenora is investing in public safety. The city and the Kenora Detachment of the OPP have joined forces to help monitor the downtown core. Surveillance cameras have been installed…

Studying Black Sturgeon Lake

The City of Kenora is keeping a close eye on the water quality of Black Sturgeon Lake. Kenora Resource Consultants have prepared a report that was presented to Kenora council, that assessed the water…

14-year-old missing

Kenora OPP are looking for a missing teen. Michelle Tait was last seen in the city's downtown Wednesday night. Tait is described as: 14-year-old indigenous, just over 5 feet tall, with medium build,…

Bell addresses Minaki phones

Bell technicians are working with hydro crews in the Minaki area. Bell spokesman Nathan Gibson pledged to restore service as soon as possible, in a statement sent Friday afternoon. About 50 Hydro One…

Trudeau visits Pikangikum

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Pikangikum First Nation today. He was joined by Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, as well as Kenora MP Bob Nault. They were hosted by the First…

Panel to balance industry, conservation

Nathalie Des Rosiers from Ottawa-Vanier is the new minister for Natural Resources and Forestry.Natural Resources and Forestry Ministery Nathalie Des Rosiers (Courtesy MNRF) Earlier today, she…

Former chief of staff guilty

The verdict is guilty. Judge Timothy Lipson found David Livingston, a former chief of staff for Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, guilty of destroying documents. In his decision, the judge ruled…

Promoting healthy, active lifestyles

Due to the success of their pilot project, The Kenora Catholic District School Board has extended their Hockey Skills Development Program into all their local elementary schools, in an effort to keep…

First hole drilled

Just west of Ignace, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has completed the drilling of its first borehole. The drilling started on November 6 between Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation.…

Business Awards response ‘phenomenal’

The Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to host their 2017 Business Awards. The chamber asked residents to nominate businesses for innovation, hospitality, employer excellence and…

Three charged following break-ins

The OPP have laid charges to three Kenora residents – following break-ins to four different local businesses. The value of the recovered property is estimated to be approximately $10,000. During the…

Calling all paramedics

The Kenora District Services Board has recently approved their 2018 budget, which includes a substantial increase. The board’s budget will reach roughly $55 million in 2018, up $13 million from 2017.…

Gas Tax funding increased

The City of Kenora will see a few more dollars from the provincial government this year. The provincial Gas Tax fund has increased from $148,000 in 2017 to $156,000 in 2018. The catch, is that the…

Capital Budget detailed

The City of Kenora has finalized their 2018 Capital Budget. Kenora Council will be spending close to $17 million on capital projects throughout the year. Some of the projects included in the budget…

Festive RIDE campaign results

The OPP have released their numbers. Throughout their annual Festive RIDE campaign between November 24 and January 2, the OPP charged 587 drivers with impaired driving throughout the province.…

Keeping dementia patients safe

Kenora’s Alzheimer Society is putting in the work to help keep people with dementia safe, and they have a unique new project to further those efforts. Rylee Rieu, Client Services Coordinator with…

MNRF explains limit change

A recent change to fishing limits for non-Canadian-residents has some local lodges and anglers concerned. In Fisheries Management Zone 5, which covers Kenora, Dryden and Fort Frances, new regulations…

Celebrating the new year

Local students were in for a treat. Kenora’s Pope John Paul II’s school community celebrated the beginning 2018, with a New Year’s lunch. Students were able to get together to enjoy turkey with all…

Respiratory virus cases increasing

As the temperatures continue to fluctuate in the region, residents’ immune systems will be tested. Shannon Brown, supervisor for the Infectious Disease Program with the Northwestern Health Unit,…

Arctic training underway

The military is here. Roughly 70 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have arrived in Kenora, as they take part in a 10-day-long training exercise at Anicinabe Park. Lieutenant Colonel Dave Fraser, a…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Kenora Midget AAA Thistles vs. Yellowhead Chiefs

20 January 2018 7:30 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Graphic Design Workshop

23 January 2018 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kenora Public Library (Keewatin Branch), Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

23 January 2018 7:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





Kenora Midget AAA Thistles vs. Yellowhead Chiefs

20 January 2018 7:30 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Graphic Design Workshop

23 January 2018 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kenora Public Library (Keewatin Branch), Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

23 January 2018 7:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





SOUP WEDNESDAYS

24 January 2018 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

St Andrews United Church





Intro to Rotoscope Animation

24 January 2018 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kenora Public Library (Keewatin Branch), Kenora





Login