Transforming Access to Youth Mental Health Services

fymh-story-body-350-x-450Our young people face unprecedented challenges to their well-being including higher rates of mental illness and substance use than any other age group. Many families struggle to find help within a system that is no longer meeting their needs.  Sadly, their stories become all too real in crisis and countless visits to Emergency or worse, when the media covers a tragic story.  This heart-breaking reality impacts all of us, and our families, every day.

The KGH Foundation has teamed up with CMHA-Kelowna to raise $2 million to make Kelowna’s Integrated Youth and Family Centre a reality.  This world-class facility represents a paradigm shift in how we address youth mental health, ensuring that young people and families in the Southern Interior can get the help they need, when they need it.

And we need your help to make it happen.

World-class care, close to home.

Kelowna has been selected as a site for an incredible project that will change the way in which our communities youth and families struggling with mental health issues access the help they need.

The BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BC-IYSI) is making it possible for a new paradigm to emerge in how we treat youth mental health in our province. The BC-IYSI and over 70 partners want to transform the current experience by consolidating existing services – from primary care to substance abuse, counselling and social services for youth age 12-24, and their families – all under one roof.  Learn more about the BC-IYSI

This is a huge step forward.

The Heart-Breaking Reality

  • One in four youth in BC need mental health or substance use services
  • As few as 25% receive the care they need
  • It can be safely estimated that between 3,500 and 4,500 youth are in need of mental health and addiction services in the Central Okanagan
  • 75% of mental illnesses and substance use problems begin between the ages of 12-24
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death for Canadians aged 15-24
  • Nearly three times more youth died from suicide than from cancer in 2014
  • Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world
  • Among Aboriginal and Inuit communities, suicide rates are five to six times higher than our national average
  • Youth mental illness is ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada

What if…

 What if our young people, and their families, had access to the help they need, when THEY needed it most? What if they did not have to sit on lengthy waitlists – but instead, had a place they could walk into and find help right away, before their health concerns more severely impact their families, relationships, health, housing, education or employment?

How many of our young people would avoid chronic illness, poverty, addiction or involvement with the justice system – and instead, build healthy, fulfilling lives?

 This is a project of great urgency. 

Together, we can change the way young people, and their families, access health and social services in our community.

Donate to Youth Mental Health