Inuit Mental Health & Adaptation to Climate Change

A project by Ashlee Cunsolo Willox

           The Inuit Mental Health and Adaptation to Climate Change project is a community-led regional project based in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, and working in collaboration with the Inuit Community Governments of Nain, Hopedale, Postville, and Makkovik, the ‘My Word’: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, and the Nunatsiavut Government. This community-based and community-led research aims to explore and examine the connections between changes in snow, ice, weather, water, animals, and plants throughout the Nunatsiavut region and mental and emotional health and well-being. The IMHACC project builds off research conducted in Rigolet through the Changing Climate, Changing Health, Changing Stories project, which became the first case study conducted examining the impacts of climate change on health and well-being within an Inuit context. Understanding the importance of this topic, the communities of Nunatsiavut united together to begin a regional assessment of the impacts of climate change on mental health and well-being, and to look at potential mental health adaptation strategies and support services. Data was collected through 110 in-depth interviews, 17 digital stories, and 20 video interviews, which formed the basis for a documentary film on climate change and mental health (forthcoming March 2014). This research was featured on CBC’s Quirks & Quarks in January 2014:, as well as being featured in news media across North America.

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