TEXT SIZE: Decrease text size Reset text size Increase text size Print Page

MuskokaONline.com News - #GOTLOCAL

Mobile Youth Wellness Hub in the works for Muskoka
Get Local News!

Mobile Youth Wellness Hub in the works for Muskoka

Posted: 2024-03-27 06:54:06 By: thebay

Huntsville Councillor, Bob Stone, announced that a Mobile Youth Wellness Hub is in the works for Muskoka, in the March 25, 2024, meeting.

He indicated that Executive Director of the Hub, Jody North, was seeking assistance from the District to purchase and operate the mobile vehicle, in the Health Committee meeting on March 21st.

He continued that the model is through MiND-AID and has been active across the province.

According to North’s report in the presentation, the vehicle will provide a variety of services to youth through consultations, workshops, and activities, through a collaboration of service providers, including guest speakers, healers, and teachers.

Special attention will be paid to Indigenous and marginalized youth, and services will be tailored to their specific needs.

The report adds that participation will be encouraged with developing programs, which “empowers youth to have a voice and make decisions about their care.”

Core components of the program include collaboration with community service providers, sensitivity to diverse cultural, health, and belief practices, outcome based measured care, and youth engagement.

Services and community resources will be provided for mental health, substance use, primary care, employment, finances, housing, and education.

The report continues, “We chose a mobile model to allow the flexibility to be where we are most needed. Many young people in Muskoka fall through the cracks because they do not live close to services, do not have access to transportation or the financial means to travel to services.”

It adds that according to Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO), “70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence.”

Challenges for youth include where to start to look for help, services available, lack of support, and not having a primary doctor, indicates CMHO.

There are serious implications to lack of support and treatment for youth. According to the CMHO, “Canada’s suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world.”

The report continues, “According to the World Health Organization, mental health disorders will be the world’s leading cause of disability by 2030, and ‘the consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend into adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.’”

North asked the District for $100,000 to go towards start up funds to help the program to begin this fall. The first year is estimated to cost $300,000, however, the hub has raised almost $200,000 from fundraising and grants.

The Committee indicated that further investigation from District staff will have to be requested by Council to consider how the project could be funded.

Stone indicated, “If they can get it up and running then the province gives ongoing funding.”

He added, “The work they do is amazing. Healthcare in our hospital systems is non-existent or close to it, and this will reach every part of the District, and that is truly amazing.”