Letters to the editor. Western News graphic

Letter: Send a message to our youth

Help address youth mental health by donating to programs like the YES youth centre and Martin House

We refer to the article in the Penticton Western News, Anxiety and addiction new reality for many youth, on Feb. 17 and agree there is a great need to provide support and education to our youth who suffer from mental illnesses.

The Mental Wellness Centre (South Okanagan Similkameen Mental Wellness Society — formerly B.C. Schizophrenia Society Penticton Branch) has been offering a youth (16 to 30) mental health support program called Martin House since 2012.

The Martin House program provides peer support, one-on-one counselling to address individual challenges or goals and activities to encourage socialization. The ultimate goal is to co-locate this program with the proposed Youth Engagement Strategy youth centre when it is completed.

Our biggest challenge has been securing funding to continue the Martin House program at an effective level and perform the outreach activities needed to reach our youth. The youth centre will help with the outreach portion and we look forward to it becoming a reality. We have done what we can with the money granted to us by the City of Penticton, Telus, the Knights of Columbus and other supportive businesses and individuals.

It takes a village if we want to reduce the incidence of youth suicide and other negative outcomes that often result, for the community and the individual, from youth mental illness. The health care system is focused on treatment and does not provide all the support the individual and their family will need to cope with the mental illness. The best way the village can help address youth mental health is to donate to programs like the YES youth centre and our Martin House program. These programs cannot survive without the financial support of the community.

We, as a community, need to send a message to our youth that their lives matter and no matter what horrible things they may be experiencing there is hope if they are given the means to cope.

Jim Cleghorn

Treasurer,

South Okanagan Similkameen Mental Wellness Society

Just Posted

Foreinger feeling like the first time after 40

Foreigner doesn’t miss a beat after 40 years

Octoberfest is the toast of the town

Eighth annual night of fun, music and brews

View from the gallery: Art creating conversation

Penticton Art Gallery creating conversations with their exhibits

Vees lose 4-2 to Wenatchee

The Vees face the Wild again Wednesday, on home ice

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Reel Reviews: Nothing left to lose

We say, “Grieving Quan kicks butt”

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read