BREAKDOWN – Our Youth and Mental Health Forum

The demand for mental health services for young people is steadily increasing, and has been for quite some time. A decrease in the stigma, exponential population growth, and more awareness concerning mental health are a few of the causes for the increase in demand.

More youth seeking help is a good thing. The problem is that some of youth seeking treatment have to wait upwards of nine months before they get any help at all. For those who are severely depressed and suicidal this poses a huge risk, not to mention further anguish and suffering for them and their families.
At Calgary Counselling Centre we know that it is crucial to great treatment as the first sign of trouble, which is why we have no waitlist, and sliding fee scale to ensure there are no barriers to counselling.

This situation was recently brought to light through a series CBC News conducted called Breakdown. The series highlighted some stories of youth in our community. The series culminated with a free public forum on the topic.

The forum included a panel session of three speakers – Dr. Chris Wilkes of Alberta Health Services, Fiona Haynes of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta and the mother of one of the youth highlighted in the CBC series, and George Ghitan of Hull Services. It gave the community a chance to ask questions, hear about trials and tribulations, and hear about success stories.

The importance of seeking help at the first sign of struggle was one of the paramount points of the discussion. Calgary Counselling Centre has been providing services for youth in our community for the past 50 years. We understand the issue and our counselling program provides higher than average results. Most importantly we understand it is critical to access treatment right away. To that end we have ensured that there are no obstacles for anyone to receive treatment right away. We can see anyone in need of help immediately, for we have no waiting lists. This is an extremely important factor as the earlier you seek help the better and faster results you get. We’ve also established a sliding fee scale ensuring that everyone, independent of their financial means can access the best counselling treatment available.

This is about saving lives. Changing lives for the better and we are committed to that.

“Our youth aren’t doing well if one in five are struggling with a mental health problem,” mentioned George Ghitan. It is a disheartening statistic, but there is hope, and there is treatment. Good health is not just the absence of disease, it’s about resilience.

Calgary Counselling Centre is here to help build that capacity in order to help our youth get well, and stay well.

If you or anyone you know is struggling, call us at 403-691-5991. We’re here to help.

Category: Blog, Community, Counselling.