Maple Ridge clinic for youth ‘in need’

Mentorship training at CEED Centre.

If you’re a confused kid and you need some help with your mental health, waiting weeks to see someone is too long.

Having a youth clinic that will have a rapid access psychiatry program, though, could help, so teens in their moment of crisis get support when they need it and before any wrong turns are made.

Teesha Sharma, a mental health worker, said space has already been donated by a local doctor for such a clinic, on 223rd Street and Selkirk Avenue, if operating funding is provided.

“We really need it,” Sharma said.

The Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative is leading the effort to open a clinic.

The collaborative, which now has a local action team in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, involves youth, parents, family doctors, specialists, three government ministries, RCMP, school counsellors, and aboriginal groups across B.C.

It is based on a model used worldwide as a method of rapid, continuous improvement in health care, and first started in the B.C. Interior in June 2013, says a government website.

“Right now in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, for a youth to see a psychiatrist takes eight months, which is kind of ridiculous,” said Sharma, who’s on the local team.

“All of the big guns are on this.”

Funding is being sought from Fraser Health for the youth clinic.

Meanwhile, another program, just beginning, will complement the youth clinic, if it opens.

A four-hour youth mentorship training program starts this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the CEED Centre on 223rd Street. It’s jointly offered by the centre and Sharma’s Blue Door Youth Services.

Youth mentorship and the clinic will complement each other with referrals going both ways, Sharma explained.

“With 14 disenfranchised youth on our street and countless youth struggling with mental health issues, the need for mentors is at an all-time high,” Sharma said in a release.

Beginning with the first session this Saturday, adults can take a free, four-hour mentorship training session that will give the basics in being able to look out for troubled kids.

The session will teach how to identify mental health issues, and help kids with communication and community integration. Additional sessions could be added later.

Sharma herself was living on her own at age 16, in an apartment under a youth agreement with the ministry.

“The acquisition of life skills, self-esteem and direction, didn’t come easily, to say the least,” she said.

Sharma formed Blue Door Youth Services a few years ago in an attempt to create a long-term home for kids, after the announcement of the closing of the Iron Horse Youth Safe House.

She added that every teen mental health program in Maple Ridge has a waiting list.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Police investigate homicide in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

OUTLOOK: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows adding, upgrading rec facilities

Opening date for Leisure Centre not set yet.

Ruskin Community Hall has more life, but work needed

98-year-old east Maple Ridge building needs a roof

On Cooking: Yes, I eat meat

I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same.

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

5 to start your day

B.C. cracks down on ‘dirty money,’ homicide detectives investigate Maple Ridge death and more

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

22 public toilets in Victoria: 136 people currently peeing

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Most Read