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Youth Mental Health Sites Announced

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by pmnationtalk on April 10, 202444 Views


April 10, 2024

Young Nova Scotians and their families will soon have easier access to mental health and addictions services and related supports in their communities.

Brian Comer, Minister of Addictions and Mental Health, announced the locations of seven new Integrated Youth Services sites today, April 10, in Stellarton, Pictou County.

Each will offer multiple services, which can include counselling and peer support, primary healthcare, employment and training supports, and social services such as housing and income assistance support.

“It can be hard for youth and caregivers to know where to turn when it comes to mental health and addictions issues,” said Minister Comer. “These new sites offer a clear path during what is already a difficult time. When a young person walks through the doors of an Integrated Youth Services site, they and their caregivers are immediately connected with the services and supports they need – all under one roof and close to home.”

Integrated Youth Services – co-ordinated by community organizations with oversight from the IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program, in partnership with several government departments – helps youth aged 12 to 25 through in-person, outreach and virtual services.

The new sites will be in Amherst, Bridgewater, New Glasgow, north-end Halifax, west-end Halifax, Sydney and Eskasoni, ¬which will serve youth in six First Nation communities.

Site selection is currently underway, and the first sites are expected to open in early 2025, with the others opening over the next few years.

The government is investing $8.4 million over the next several years to set up eight Integrated Youth Services sites, including a site in western Nova Scotia to be announced later. The IWK Foundation, Medavie Foundation, the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership and other philanthropic partners have committed an additional $10 million.

Integrated Youth Services has been identified as a solution in Action for Health, the Province’s plan to improve healthcare, and is an important part of the government’s commitment to universal mental health and addictions care for all Nova Scotians.

Quotes:

“I can’t think of one of my friends who has not struggled at one point in their lives with a mental health issue. It seems that youth are more and more affected by mental health issues these days, which can create a slippery slope towards formulating unhealthy addictions. Whether that be substance, or a different type of addiction entirely, it is common to turn mental struggles into obsession over something that will make us feel relief momentarily. I hope to be a part of a safe haven that is formulated to help youth through dark times. I hope to be a part of the solution.”
— Paige Carvery, Integrated Youth Services Provincial Youth Advisory Committee

“Integrated youth mental health and addiction services in rural areas offer caregivers vital support where it’s needed most, easing their burden and fostering stronger, healthier communities by ensuring everyone has access to the care they need.”
— Julie Bibby-MacNabb, Integrated Youth Services Provincial Family/Caregiver Advisory Committee

“IWK Health is proud to be leading in partnership with communities in the development of Integrated Youth Services, a first of its kind for Nova Scotia. Working closely with community partners, youth and caregivers, together we’ll create services rooted in evidence, with research embedded to ensure we continue to adapt to meet the needs of youth, caregivers and families.”
— Krista Jangaard, CEO, IWK Health

Quick Facts:

  • youth, caregivers, community members and organizations helped develop the model; nearly 300 people attended 12 in-person and three virtual consultation sessions in 2023
  • the Integrated Youth Services model of care is a best-practice approach nationally and internationally

Additional Resources:

Co-ordinating community organizations by site:

  • Amherst: YMCA of Cumberland, Maggie’s Place, In the Works, Cumberland County Transition House/Autumn House, Autism Nova Scotia, Cumberland Restorative Justice Society, Municipality of Cumberland County, Town of Amherst, Eating Disorders Nova Scotia
  • Bridgewater: YMCA Southwest Nova Scotia, John Howard Society of Nova Scotia, South Shore Sexual Health, Schools Plus, South Shore Open Doors Association
  • Eskasoni: Eskasoni Health Centre, Eskasoni Mental Health Services, Potlotek Health Centre, Wagmatcook Health Centre, Paqtnkek Health Centre, Membertou Health Centre, Waycobah Health Centre
  • west-end Halifax: YWCA Halifax, MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning, Prescott Group Society, The Youth Project
  • north-end Halifax: Halifax YMCA, One North End, North End Community Health Centre, Hope Blooms
  • New Glasgow: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County, Pictou County Roots for Youth Society, John Howard Society of Nova Scotia-Northeastern Regional Office, Pictou County Community Health Centre, YMCA of Pictou County
  • Sydney: New Dawn Enterprises, Undercurrent Youth Society, Whitney Pier Youth Club, Cape Breton Youth Project Society

NT6

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