|For Immediate Release
Improving the Mental Wellness of Alberta’s Youth
[Fort McMurray, Alberta] July 21, 2021 – Up to $7.3 million will support the expansion of youth mental health hubs, which provide young Albertans with a one-stop shop for services that improve their mental health and overall wellness. The Wood Buffalo Integrated Youth Network will receive substantial funding from this amount enabling us to continue connecting youth and families to resources as well as expand our Youth Hub ton support the growing and unique needs of our community.
“We are so excited to have the Government of Alberta’s commitment to increasing youth mental health services in our province and our community. Improving youth mental health wellness is vital to a thriving community and this contribution will allow us to create a one stop shop for youth mental health resources.”
Mara Hayward, Youth Hub Manager, Wood Buffalo Integrated Youth Network, Canadian Mental Health Association – Wood Buffalo.
The Wood Buffalo Integrated Youth Network is designed to be a central access place for youth aged 11 – 24 to find mental health resources. There are many community partners currently working together and we will continue to establish new ways to help youth from a centralized location. These partners include government agencies, social & non-profits, clinical and non-clinical resources, connectors, and youth.
Mental health and wellness is a part of our everyday lives: it is it the setting in which we live, the places we visit, the activities we take part in, and those that support us when we need it. A mental health hub will make it much easier for youth to be able to access the appropriate supports when they need it and we are committed to ensure it is beneficial for our youth.
The Youth Network is governed by community partners, as well as youth themselves through our Youth Advisory Council. Having youth voices at the centre of creating this hub is paramount to ensuring this service is made with youth and not for youth. Our youth have been through tremendous stress in the past five years, and it is our commitment to provide accessibility and appropriate services through collaboration and connections to help them flourish.
Currently the Youth Network is offering System Navigation. Youth and families can self-refer, or they can be referred by their point of contact such as any mental health or frontline worker. The system navigator will walk alongside youth and families through their journey connecting them to resources and tools in our community. They also ensure those resources are the correct fit and that contact is not lost throughout the process. This service is currently being offered by appointment, online or in person. Our official physical location will be open in the Fall of 2021 at Unit 111, 8530 Manning Ave, within our regional Canadian Mental Health Association building. We strive to ensure this space will be safe, accessible, and inclusive to all who join us there.
In addition to here in Wood Buffalo, this funding will expand services across the province. The focus of next steps for youth mental health hubs will be more collaboration with other health and community services, youth and family engagement, reducing barriers to accessing needed services and making sure youth get the right resources at the right time. Funding will also support the development of a central governance structure to help ensure consistency and alignment of the youth mental health hubs while supporting connections with other provincial services.
Additional announcements regarding the location of expanded and new sites across Alberta will be made over the coming months.
For more information please contact:
Mike Jones | Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator