Youth between the ages of 15-25 in the North Okanagan now have more opportunities to access mental health rehabilitation and recovery services thanks to a generous grant from RBC Foundation.
“The RBC Youth Mental Well-being Project is our commitment to remove barriers and provide young people the right care at the right time,” said Ray Warren from RBC. “RBC Foundation is excited to partner with Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation in providing $50,000 over two years for local programs. We’re focused on reintegrating youth back into their communities, helping them learn new skills and increasing their mental well being. We want to ensure they are better prepared for their future. When young people succeed, we all win.”
The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that 10-20 per cent of children and teens in Canada have mental health issues. Up to 70 per cent of mental health problems start in the childhood and teen years. If left unchecked, problems can continue, affecting school and life success.
“Youth who access our mental health programs struggle with the most complex mental health issues. Research shows that individuals receiving treatment within six months following onset of psychosis or concurrent disorders have better recovery. A critical component of their recovery is how they re-integrate into their lives,” said Dobra Vistica, Interior Health early psychosis intervention program clinician.
“Early intervention and psychotropic medication is not enough. A focus on reintegration activities, life skills development, group therapy, and offering peer engagement opportunities are keys to success. This funding from RBC allows our team to further increase our time with clients and develop these essential programs. It’s a tremendous opportunity for youth in our region.”
The impact is already evident: “Without emergency support from the RBC grant I would have given up on myself and on my recovery goals. You showed you cared about me and that taught me to invest in and care about myself,” said a young person with lived experience, currently at an Inpatient Substance Use Recovery program.
Youth can access these services in a number of ways, including referrals through their doctors, educators, family support programs and local mental health organizations. Once referred, clients get connected with the services they need in less than a week’s time.