News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 4, 2020

PROVINCE PARTNERING TO EXPAND CO-ORDINATED ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH, ADDICTION SERVICES FOR YOUNG MANITOBANS

– – –
Creation of New Youth Hub Sites across Province Will Help More Young People: Friesen

The Manitoba government is partnering with a number of organizations to further expand a hub model for integrated youth services (IYS), including mental health and addiction services for youth and young adults, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. 
 
The partners include Shared Health, the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership and other philanthropic partners including United Way Winnipeg, RBC Foundation, The Winnipeg Foundation and the Moffat Family Fund.
 
“Navigating the system to find the right services is often too difficult and young people fall through the cracks. We must act to ensure they have access to mental health and addiction supports,” said Friesen. “Working with community agencies, donors, youth, young adults and families, we can improve the wellness of Manitoba’s young people and ensure they have access to the co-ordinated care they need in a youth-focused way.”
 
Manitoba’s first youth hub providing integrated services was established at NorWest Co-Op Community Health in Winnipeg in 2017. Through this initiative, three additional youth hub sites will be established in Manitoba. The youth hubs will bring together mental health care, addiction services, primary care, peer support and other social services in a way that provides access to integrated services for young people and their families in a youth-friendly, ‘one-stop-shop’ model. 
 
“The expansion of our ability to have youth access services that are designed by youth in a manner that can comprehensively meet their needs all in one site is very exciting news,” said Dr. Laurence Katz, medical director for child and adolescent mental health services, HSC Winnipeg. “This model of care is applied in many places around the country and the world, and will get mental health care and other services to youth in a manner that they find acceptable.”
 
The Manitoba government is investing $1.55 million in the expansion, with $2.65 million in additional funding coming from the philanthropic partners. 
 
“I’d like to thank all of the organizations who have shown a strong commitment to this initiative including the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership, RBC Foundation, The Winnipeg Foundation, the Moffat Family Fund and United Way Winnipeg,” said Friesen.  
 
United Way Winnipeg will provide backbone support to the initiative including the creation of a Manitoba Youth Hubs Network to enable shared capacity building across all youth hub sites. United Way Winnipeg is well positioned to do this given their experience in bringing partners together to work on transformational initiatives, the minister noted.
 
On Nov. 5, the Manitoba Youth Hubs Initiative will issue a call for proposals to organizations and communities across the province interested in establishing a youth hub. The goal is to identify three new sites in Manitoba by February 2021. A series of webinars are also being planned to assist organizations and communities who are interested in submitting a proposal. To register for the webinars and to access the call for proposals, visit https://unitedwaywinnipeg.ca/youthhubs/
 
“We applaud the government of Manitoba for embracing the integrated youth services model with a strong commitment to improving access to care for young people living with mental health issues,” said Mary Deacon, chair, Bell Let’s Talk. “The expansion of the proven integrated youth services model into more communities in Manitoba with the support of these tremendous partners is exactly the kind of progress we envisioned when we launched the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership. We congratulate the government on its leadership in bringing this initiative to life.”
 
Expected benefits to the development of these hubs includes: 
improved access to mental health and addiction services for young people;  
greater co-ordination and integration of mental health and addiction services with the broad range of care, supports and services needed by youth and families;  
meaningful engagement and involvement of youth and their families in the planning, delivery, evaluation and continuous improvement of IYS; 
more effective early intervention and health promotion to help with issues before they become bigger and affect relationships, school, work or other aspects of a young person’s life;
decreased stigma around mental health and addictions; and
an increased quality of life for young people.
 
“The Graham Boeckh Foundation, through the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership, is pleased to be supporting this important initiative aimed at improving access to services for youth and their families,” said Elana Ludman, the foundation’s vice-president, youth mental health. “The need for integrated, easy-to-access, culturally relevant services for young people is only increasing and we are delighted to see the Government of Manitoba join a growing number of provinces across Canada making this investment.”
 
The minister noted the investment announced today builds on other initiatives announced in the last year to enhance access to mental health and addiction care. Since October 2019, the province has invested more than $43.4 million in 25 initiatives to improve mental health and addiction services throughout the province.
 
- 30 -