Hay River, of the Northwest Territories, is in the middle of a tough balancing act.
The Hay River health authority removed three community counsellors for not having at least a Master’s degree. Naturally, the move has divided people into two camps. Many of the town’s citizens who are now without mental health assistance are outraged, and fear that the new counsellors, once hired, will not have the same knowledge of the community and of Aboriginal culture. The health authority has said the move was made with the best interests of the community at heart, saying that counselling skills are not something one can get through life experience.
At the time the news article was posted, information was unavailable as to what training, if any, the old counsellors had. The health authority has promised that citizens will not see a decline in the quality of service, and that everyone will continue to get the same care they had been getting. As of now, only one counsellor remains in the town.