This week marks one year since St. Joe’s Youth Wellness centre opened to the public. Since then, more than 700 youth have been referred to the program. When the centre was created organizers knew there was a need for youth programming, but they didn’t realize just how big that need was.
This time last year, 21-year-old Levi Bailey wasn’t in school, wasn’t working and was living life aimlessly. Fast forward a year and Levi is now a student at Mohawk college and life is better. He’s just one of the 500 youth struggling with mental illness who found support through the Youth Wellness centre. The centre has been providing programming geared to those aged 17 to 25. The centre provides community support to people too old for children’s services, but too young for adult programs.
In Canada more than two-thirds of adults living with a mental illness say symptoms first appeared during their youth, highlighting the importance of early intervention and the programs used aren’t usually found in the adult mental health system. Their mentioning team makes regular visits to McMaster, Mohawk and Redeemer, in a bid to reach youth who didn’t know the centre existed.
The centre located at the Piggott building on James street, will be hosting an open house this Friday between 6pm-8pm to celebrate the one year anniversary.