Stakeholders and youth invited to collaborate and identify priorities
Kingston, Ontario (March 29, 2019) – In follow up to the first Youth Mental Health Service Planning Day held in March 2018, United Way KFL&A and Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) hosted a one-year follow-up session on March 29, 2019 at the Fort Henry Great Hall.
This facilitated session will build on the 2018 Planning Day held with more than 80 stakeholders, including youth, who identified priorities and recommendations for our community to support transitional aged youth (16-24 years), and youth dealing with mental health crisis and/or needing supports.
“We are really focusing on identifying barriers and gaps in current services and the best way to do that is to talk to each other and most importantly, to youth themselves,” said Mike McDonald, Chief Nursing Executive and VP Patient Care and Community Partnerships at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. “We know that youth are using emergency rooms to receive treatment for mental health and we need to find a better way to serve them. If we are going to make investments, it should be in our youth.”
Members of youth serving agencies in KFLA as well as youth and families with lived experience were invited to take part in the planning day and share their stories.
Last year, the day resulted in the formation of a strategic committee that has continued to meet throughout the year. Priorities also included looking at a 24-hour walk-in for youth, a mobile crisis unit for mental health, establishing better communication with youth serving agencies and finding sustainable funding for Kingston’s youth hub, One Roof.
“We have made progress in many areas and that is thanks to the commitment of everyone here and in our community, especially the youth who are willing to share their experiences,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO, United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. “Through this follow up session we hope to keep building and working together on this important issue.”
About United Way
United Way works with individuals, organizations and key partners to build and strengthen our community, bringing people and resources together to facilitate change. Our vision is a future where people are self-sufficient in a community, where individuals live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. Visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca for more information.
President and CEO, United Way KFL&A
613-542-2674 ext. 1101
Chief Nursing Executive and VP Patient Care and Community Partnerships, KHSC
613-544-3400 ext. 2319