We’re raising $3 million to build an integrated youth mental health hub in Victoria
VICTORIA, BC | Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island announced today that it will raise $3 million dollars to build a revolutionary new mental health care hub for youth and their families in downtown Victoria this summer.
“We’ve been listening closely to the kids in our community and have learned that diagnosis and mental health treatment as early as possible is the best way to support them,” says Sandra Hudson, vice-chair of the Foundation’s board. “We’ve consistently heard that access to professional services before going into crisis remains the number one barrier to mental health for Island kids today.”
“One in five youth need help with a mental health or substance use issue, yet as few as 20% of these kids have access to mental health services right now.”
In response to this growing need, the Foundation began collaborating with service providers and government agencies to identify practical and accessible mental health services that meet youth where they’re at.
“Island kids need a single point of entry to access the full range of proactive and skill-building mental health support available to them—and their families need easier access to resources when their child is in crisis,” says Veronica Carroll, CEO of the Foundation. “So that’s our first priority, bringing the city’s core mental health experts and resources together under one roof to provide seamless, wraparound care for families.”
The hub, opening in fall 2017, will be this one-stop shop, bringing together the services currently offered by the Victoria Youth Clinic, NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support, Island Health and other community partners to transform the way primary healthcare and acute mental health and substance use services are provided to Victoria’s youth.
“You can do so much more when you work together, building relationships that advance the total wellbeing of every youth you serve,” says Barb Thompson, executive director of the Victoria Youth Clinic. “Taking a team approach across agencies—across systems, frankly—will let us better define the true needs of each client and then address them from multiple disciplines.”
“It’s simply the most responsible way to support the healthcare needs of youth on Vancouver Island.”
The Foundation kicked off renovations at 818 Douglas Street earlier this morning, announcing a $3 million dollar commitment to support both capital development of the space and improvements to health service navigation resources for Island families.
“Today, we invite the community to join us on our mission to transform access to mental health care for Island kids,” says Hudson. “Together we can stand with our children—we can show them they’re not alone, especially on their darkest days.”
Founding hub partners include:
- The Victoria Youth Clinic, moving operations from its current home on Yates to expand its interdisciplinary approach to primary healthcare, mental health and substance use support
- NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education and Support, providing mental health education in classrooms across the region and supporting kids in crisis via text and chat through their YouthSpace.ca program
- And Island Health’s Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) team, providing the specialized assessment and treatment services they offer today in a new youth-focused environment
“The hub will build an integrated system around each child’s wellbeing instead of trying to shoehorn them into the systems that exist today,” says Carroll. “It’s a vital investment in the wellbeing of our children—creating a new model of care for how we support youth mental health on southern Vancouver Island.”
- Work set to begin on one-stop youth mental health centre (Times Colonist)
- New Victoria hub to provide mental health supports for area youth (Victoria News)
Ready to join us on this journey? Visit our Youth Mental Health page for details.