Vernon is opening the door of support for youth struggling with mental health and/or substance use concerns.
A new Youth Hub is now operating as a pilot project in Vernon every Wednesday afternoon at 3104 37th Ave. The space for the Hub has been provided by Junction Literacy Centre, which also runs Teen Junction in the bottom floor of the building.
The need for a one stop shop for youth 15 to 25 years of age to connect with services was identified by the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative, North Okanagan Local Action Team. Specifically, the collaborative honed in on a need for low barrier mental health services to address the difficulty youth and families could face when trying to navigate the system, particularly when they are experiencing distress.
“The overall goal of the Youth Hub is to create a safe and inclusive space where youth can develop trusting relationships with community service providers,” said Kara Wilhelms, project lead.
“Professional clinicians are available to support youth with their questions and/or concerns on topics ranging from mental health/substance use to their safety.”
“In addition, clinicians provide practical support in the form of connection to relevant mental health services in the community and co-create care plans with clients,” added Nicole Vath, Youth Hub program co-ordinator.
The pilot project was made possible by local foundations in partnership with local service providers and ministries. The Youth Hub project will run until June with the hope of this being a permanent service to Vernon youth and families.
Youth are welcome to drop in at the Youth Hub and can locate a calendar with operating hours and clinician availability on Facebook/Instagram at vernonyouthhub37ave. The services provided are free of charge. Inquiries about the Youth Hub can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.