NationTalk: MONCTON (GNB) – Integrated youth wellness hubs being established around the province aim to give young New Brunswickers and their families easier access to mental health and addictions support.
The hubs are a partnership involving the provincial government, the Canadian Mental Health Association and organizations such as the Medavie Foundation, the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership and RBC.
“This is one more concrete step on the path toward enhancing access to addiction and mental health services, which is a key part of our health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “As a government, we are committed to providing access to those in need of addiction and mental health services, particularly young people.”
The group will work together to provide funding and oversee implementation of the hubs.
“This partnership is a prime example of how the community can come together to improve the lives of youth, especially Indigenous youth, in this province,” said Sherry Wilson, minister responsible for addictions and mental health services. “When we all work together, amazing things can happen, and I have no doubt that these youth hubs will be nothing short of amazing.”
The initiative will bring together community-based services for youth aged 12 to 24 at six sites around the province. The design and implementation of these hubs will be done with input from communities, youth and caregivers. Each site will provide access to a range of services, either directly or through established networks. The services include:
- mental health and substance use support
- primary health care
- education, employment and training support
- peer support for youth and families
- social and community services
- other services based on local needs and priorities
The Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick will oversee administration of the initiative and will soon begin community engagement and implementation.
“The Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership is supporting provincial and territorial integrated youth services initiatives across all of Canada,” said Ian Boeckh, president and director of the Graham Boeckh Foundation. “We believe strongly that this model fills an important gap in mental health services for teens and young adults, changes the trajectory of lives, and supports family carers. We are absolutely delighted that the government of New Brunswick is joining a growing number of provinces in making this investment and are pleased to be able to support this work.”
Fitch said integrated youth hubs have been identified as an international best practice and are an important element of the government’s plan to stabilize health care and its commitment to improving access to addictions and mental health services for youth.