Dr. Bob Masse will operate a therapy clinic, with proceeds going to youth mental health. (THE NEWS files)

Initiative provides mental health for younger kids

Youth Wellness Centre has a new temporary home

There are new developments in providing mental health care for kids in Maple Ridge.

The Youth Wellness Centre in Maple Ridge is temporarily moving its services into the Golden Ears Medical Clinic. It will operate in office space donated by Dr. Ursula Luitingh and her colleagues, while work continues on the construction of the Foundry site. The goal is for the youth counselling services to be available in the newly constructed facility by December.

Foundry, when it is up and running, will focus on the mental health needs of young people, ages 12-24 years of age. However, a new service for younger kids is being funded through the efforts of local chiropractor and former city councillor Dr. Bob Masse.

“Although (Foundry) is a tremendous asset in our community, we’ve also been working on ways to sustain services for the younger youth who are outside of the Foundry mandate,” said Community Services executive director Vicki Kipps.

Masse, who is a local chiropractor and member of the YWC Fund Development Committee, is opening a social entrepreneur clinic with physiotherapists and massage Therapists. His vision is to run it as a business, and dedicate the clinic’s net proceeds to serving the mental health needs of children 6-11 years of age.

The clinic is called Health and Wellness Unlimited, and will be located within the Fitness Unlimited gym (20629-119th Ave.) The grand opening will be July 10 from 5-8 p.m..

“We’re exploring ways to re-frame the purpose of the Youth Wellness Centre to focus on the needs of the younger youth, as Foundry will now focus on addressing the needs for the 12-24-year olds,” said Kipps. “I think this may be an opportunity for a great partnership between the YWC and Foundry where the needs of all children and youth are met, leaving no gaps in service for families.

READ ALSO: Thousands raised for youth mental health

Masse explained there will be four therapists renting facilities at Health and Wellness Unlimited. He said Fitness Unlimited president Jeff Ardron has rented the space for the therapy clinic at a generous rate, so the proceeds of the new clinic – estimated at approximately $2,000 per month, can be donated to help children in that 6-11 age group.

Masse said he has been interested in social entrepreneurship since his days on council, and has admired the function similar operations, such as local thrift stores, which generate significant funds for local charitable causes.

“Foundry will fill a huge role in providing mental health care for kids 12-24. Meanwhile a lot of mental health problems are appearing in kids as young as five, six and seven,” said Masse. He said the proceeds from the new clinic will help the Youth Wellness Centre provide for that group.



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