Thursday, April 14, 2016 

Community

A Team Effort  

Working toward better youth mental health

Asma Farooq, CDFD 

 

 

n February 21st the Chilliwack Chiefs Minor Hockey Night not only ended in a win for our home team, but also saw more than $4,000 raised by community members attending, and organizations hosting the fundraising game.

 

The majority of the funds were raised through  the silent auction of players’ jerseys Additionally, online ticket sales that used a promo code (HEALTH) contributed a portion of each ticket sold towards the fundraiser. Elizabeth Harris, Executive Director at the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, the event’s Charity of Choice, notes, “We’re grateful to the community for their support of this fundraiser and the initiatives driving it. The proceeds will go towards bolstering adolescent Mental Health programs at Chilliwack General Hospital.”

Demonstrating the importance of youth involvement and engagement in mental health initiatives targeted towards them, the evening showcased a mental health awareness video that has been produced and led by local youth. With over 1000 views, it features Chilliwack Chief players and coaches, and youth and service providers in the community and aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health illnesses. The video reinforces the message that there are local resources available, such as the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre, and encourages youth to reach out and talk today.

The game night also saw several local, regional and provincial agencies set up information booths in an effort to raise awareness about the local resources available for youth mental health. An interactive mural at the game invited attendees to add their pledges on what they would do to promote mental wellness and reduce stigma.

Led by Chilliwack’s Local Action Team (LAT) for the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative, this event was held in partnership with the Chilliwack Chiefs, Canadian Mental Health Association, Chilliwack Youth Health Centre, and the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation. Commenting on the spirit of collaboration that drove the event, Chilliwack LAT co-chair and Community Manager at the Ministry of Child and Family Development, Dan Bibby shares, “This truly is the result of partnership with various stakeholders, including but not limited to, government, RCMP, Fraser Health, the School District and local service providers in healthcare and social services.”

Efforts to raise awareness for mental health are ongoing and will be ramped up during the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week, from May 2 to May 8. From training for local service providers to identify at-risk populations to public events such as a stand-up comedy night on mental health, community performances, workshops and fundraisers, Chilliwack will be hosting plenty of opportunities to talk about and learn about mental health. For the latest updates, visit www.facebook.com/chilliwackyhc.

About the Chilliwack Local Action Team
This LAT is one of many that have been formed as part of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative, which spans the province. Comprised of a diverse cross-section of mental health service providers and stakeholders, the Chilliwack LAT focuses on building relationships to integrate care across systems and within the community. It does so by tackling issues such as linking youth and families to local resources and strengthening relationships between service providers and their agencies.

About the Child and Youth Mental Health Substance Use (CYMHSU) CollaborativeThe CYMHSU Collaborative aims to increase the number of children, youth, and their families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports in BC. It has seen an unprecedented level of involvement by various stakeholders; across BC, over 1,800 youth, parents, family doctors, specialists, three government ministries; RCMP/police, school counsellors, Aboriginal groups, community agencies, and many others are now involved.

 

 

© 2009-2016 The Valley Voice News | All Rights Reserved