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Samedi, 20 avril 2024

BGC Dawson Launches Youth Mental Health Magazine

By Chad Polito

Last year BGC Dawson presented a youth mental health project to the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) for funding after seeing an increased need to address a mental health crisis that youth in our community are experiencing. CHSSN’s mission is to support the English-speaking communities in Québec through promoting equitable access to health and social services in English and addressing social determinants of health by relationship building, knowledge sharing, empowering, and training. Their Youth Mental Health Initiative aims to improve access to mental health resources and services for young English-speaking Quebecers (15-29) to better meet their needs, especially those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This past school year, BGC Dawson’s Youth Programs launched its mental health initiative thanks to funding from the CHSSN. “It’s for Youth led by Youth” shares Emmet Carriere, program animator at BGC Dawson. “This project aims to encourage English-speaking youth to identify barriers that prevent them from seeking mental health services and create strategies to improve access to resources for young people.”

One of those ways to improve access was by creating a magazine says Darley Polony, Youth Programs Coordinator at BGC Dawson. “This magazine is designed to highlight the steps to remove stigma and to improve access to mental health services and resources. We would like to build bridges between young people and mental health professionals”.  The ultimate goal of the project is to “provide safer passages over obstacles for youth from diverse communities that lack access to these services”, shares Polony.

What exactly is mental health? According to the BGC Dawson magazine, “Mental health refers to the state of your emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. Maintaining a good mental health practice allows you to enjoy life and helps you to cope with its challenges.”

The magazine discusses the many factors that influences a person’s mental health including: lifestyle, life experiences, social/work/living environments and behaviors. It is important to keep in mind that “everyone can benefit from using the right mental health resource available to them”, shares Darley.

In addition to a list local resources and health professionals available to help youth with their mental health, the magazine shares youth specific programming available right here in Verdun. “The Lobby is the Youth Programs’ podcast where we have open conversations on various topics related to youth and young adults. In this new Youth Mental Health series, we share stories, testimonials and discuss the barriers, gaps in mental health services in our communities,” concludes Emmet.

Please visit the BGC Dawson Facebook page to view the entire Youth Mental Health Magazine.

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