Meal plans, finances, and independent living skills – just a few of the things we learn about as we become healthy, happy adults. For many of us, these skills were incorporated into our everyday lives as we learned to maneuver our first job, or university class. But for youth struggling with mental health and addition issues, these simple skills may be outside their grasp.
Unfortunately, about 20 per cent of mental health and addiction-related visits to St. Paul’s Hospital are by people under the age of 24. Many of the nurses from St. Paul’s Hospital were concerned that once a patient was released from the hospital, there wasn't proper follow up and often the health issues would deteriorate further.
This month marks the exciting grand opening of the Granville Youth Health Centre. The Inner City Youth Program helps people 24 years old and under by offering primary care, mental health care, counselling, therapy, psychiatric assessment, group recreational activities, independent living skills, meal planning and food preparation, in addition to income assistance and housing support provided by an interdisciplinary team of 30 doctors, nurses, counselors and other workers.
The centre was designed to create an open and accessible space to attract mobile youth only seeking short-term care – or even attract those who would normally avoid care. The centre begins to take drop-in clients in April and won’t turn away anyone without a medical service plan. Having an integrated health and social assistance services for vulnerable youth under one roof is revolutionary and the centre expects to serve an estimated 1,200 clients annually.