KDFN invests in citizen and community safety through new financial support for treatment and expanded harm reduction programs
WHITEHORSE–To meet urgent and growing public health needs, Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) is expanding its supports for people suffering from substance use disorder.
The three programs outlined below were developed to meet the needs and support the safety of KDFN citizens and their family members.
“This is about saving lives. We’ve reached a critical time in the Yukon and our people need to be supported where they’re at and whether they’re ready to stop using or not. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this public health crisis. We’re expanding programs in these key areas to help meet the critical needs of our people right now.”
- KDFN Chief Doris Bill
KDFN Funds Private Treatment for Additions and Trauma
KDFN is investing $500,000 for citizens and their immediate family members to attend private trauma and substance use treatment programs in Canada.
This funding will be allocated on a case-by-case basis when there are no other options available. Many existing funded treatment programs have long wait lists, so this funding will remove a financial barrier and allow people to access treatment sooner.
- The funding will come directly from KDFN. It will flow over two years.
- Clients will need to complete some pre-program work to prepare for the treatment program.
- Clients will work with KDFN’s Health and Wellness team to select the program that best fits their needs.
Sarah’s House: A Supported Living Residence with a Managed Alcohol Program
KDFN is actively recruiting staff for Sarah’s House, a safe and stable residence for men who need support managing their day-to-day health needs and chronic alcohol use.
Sarah’s House will include a Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), so residents will receive regular medically prescribed doses of alcohol. The intent is to stabilize drinking patterns, eliminate the need for binge drinking, help decrease alcohol consumption over time, and reduce some negative impacts of chronic alcohol use.
The residence is named for KDFN citizen Sarah MacIntosh, who used to live in the home with Wendy Carlick. Both women were well known in the community for their kindness and compassion. In 2017, they were murdered. KDFN worked with the MacIntosh family to name the home after Sarah to honour and remember the positive impact she had on the community.
- Sarah’s House will be the first residential MAP in Canada’s north.
- This residence will be located at 17/19 Murphy Road in McIntyre.
- It has space for eight residents, each with their own room.
- Although some residents may transition out of the home, this will be permanent housing for others.
- Residents will pay rent to live in the home and access its programming.
- Sarah’s House will operate with funding from KDFN, the federal Reaching Home Strategy, the Health Canada Northern Adult Living Allowance program, and local Reaching Home funding through the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.
KDFN’s Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre’s Drug Testing and Education Program
Nurses at KDFN’s Natsékhi Kų̀ Health Centre will now be able to test client drugs for fentanyl and benzodiazapines.
Through this confidential service, people can bring in a small amount of a street drug, such as heroine, cocaine or methamphetamine, to be tested. Offering this testing will help empower people to make more informed choices about their health, safety and substance use.
- KDFN nurses already help to offer this service with other community partners through the Whitehorse Outreach Van.
- KDFN’s health and wellness team provides a range of community driven and culturally appropriate services for citizens and members of their households.
- KDFN also provides the following harm reduction supports on site at the Health Centre, through the Whitehorse Outreach Van and at the Downtown Outreach Clinic with other community partners.
- Safe Needle Exchange
- Naloxone Training and Kit Distribution
- Drug Use Harm Reduction Education and Referrals
- Safe Drug Disposal
- Suboxone Therapy (Suboxone is a prescription treatment for people addicted to opioids. KDFN only offers this through physician services at the Health Centre.)