Wednesday, December 19, 2012
put personal strengths to practical use
Released by Fraser Health Authority
donation from Coast Capital Savings has enabled Fraser Health to
develop Speak Up, a new initiative designed to provide teens and
young adults with a voice in mental health and substance use.
The first program of its
kind in BC, Speak Up is unique because it engages young people with
and without lived experience of mental health and/or substance use
issues to share and learn from each other through peer support,
targeted education in schools, and a new online community - Speak Up
at mindcheck.ca - for
young people from across the province.
"Coast Capital Savings focuses our community contributions to
programs that are focused on building a richer future for youth in
our communities," says Jay-Ann Fordy, Chief Human Resources Officer.
"Speak Up certainly fits within those parameters. We are really
looking forward to watching the program develop and support youth in
our communities who might not have had anywhere to turn before the
launch of Speak Up."
The Coast Capital Savings donation to Surrey Memorial Hospital
Foundation is the largest corporate contribution to youth and young
adult mental health programs ever received in Fraser Health.
"We applaud Coast Capital Savings for enabling Fraser Health to
bring this new program from inspiration to reality" says Jane Adams,
President & CEO of Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. "Speak Up is
already helping young people learn and talk about some of the mental
health or substance use concerns that may be silently impacting
As a youth for youth initiative, Speak Up is designed to help teens
and young adults to discover and recognize their strengths, and to
inspire them to leverage these strengths to enhance their quality of
life and wellbeing.
Dr. Karen Tee, Manager, Child, Youth & Young Adult Mental Health &
Substance Use Services for Fraser Health, led the team that created
"We thank Coast Capital Savings for enabling us to develop this "by
youth for youth" resource," Tee says. "With the help of peer
education and support, teens and young adults can feel more
comfortable sharing their experiences in person or online. This
awareness and sharing helps them recognize when they may need help
for their own personal situation and where to find it. Speak Up also
gives young people who are recovering from mental health and
substance use issues the opportunity to be give back, support other
young people, and be a vision of hope and recovery."
As a young adult with firsthand experience, Speak Up Youth Peer
Coordinator Aidan Scott understands the importance of encouraging
youth to talk openly about mental health and substance use.
"The need to be heard and supported was imperative in my personal
recovery. Speak Up is a way of connecting with youth that doesn't
wait for illness, rather it seeks to empower them to talk about
mental wellness early and often."
David Dryden, Council Chair for Coast Capital's Young Leaders
Community Council notes: "Any tools that can be provided to youth in
the realm of mental health are well worth the investment. Coast
Capital's Young Leaders Council believes strongly that a resource of
this kind is absolutely imperative to giving youth suffering from
mental illness a voice, an outlet, a way to access the help they
need. For so many young people, this service will be a bright spot
in a very dark journey."
About Speak Up
Part of Gaining Ground, Fraser Health's teen and young adult mental
health promotion, prevention and early intervention program, Speak
Up expands the scope of youth mental health and substance use
services in BC by;
* Enabling Gaining
Ground to increase its youth-targeted education strategy from 21
high schools to 49 high schools and four universities/colleges
in Fraser Health
* Creating a Youth Peer Network in Fraser Health, including
youth peer mentors, a Youth Advisory Team and a youth peer
* Establishing Speak Up at
mindcheck.ca - an
innovative collaborative web space where teens and young adults
from across the province can share their stories, learn from
others and express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in a
variety of different media, including videos, stories and poetry
More information about Speak
Up can be found at
www.mindcheck.ca/speakup. The mindcheck.ca site, which focuses
on teens and young adults, also provides information and resources
to encourage early detection and intervention for mental health and
substance use issues.
Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union is Canada's second largest credit
union with total assets under administration of $13.5 billion,
475,000 members and 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser
Valley, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia. Product
innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a
full-service financial institution and the country's most flexible
mortgage product, the You're the Boss(tm) Mortgage, which was named
2010 Mortgage of the Year by canadianmortgagetrends.com. Coast
Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures(tm).
It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and
an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more, visit
About Fraser Health
Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health services to
the largest and fastest growing population in B.C. The health
authority is committed to improving the health of the population and
the quality of life of more than 1.6 million people living in
communities from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.
Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice