En­hanced sup­port for CaperBase would be wel­comed

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY NIKKI SUL­LI­VAN

Dr. Stan Kutcher’s rec­om­men­da­tion to “en­hance sup­port” for CaperBase is be­ing met with en­thu­si­asm by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity (NSHA) and Men­tal Health and Ad­dic­tion Ser­vices.

“We wel­come his rec­om­men­da­tions. They are a good foun­da­tion off which to build,” said Dr. Julie MacDon­ald, a psy­chol­o­gist who is the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity’s man­ager for Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health & Ad­dic­tions, Cape Breton Area.

“We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to en­gage and work with our com­mu­nity part­ners, our fam­i­lies and youth, so we can best ad­dress the needs iden­ti­fied in our com­mu­nity.”

ac­cord­ing to

Lynn Gil­bert, spokesper­son for the NSHA, CaperBase is a ser­vice that pro­vides re­sources, men­tor­ing and pro­gram­ming fo­cused on build­ing re­silience among young peo­ple, help­ing them build skills for cop­ing with chal­lenges life throws their way, as well as help­ing them learn how to de­velop healthy life­styles and re­la­tion­ships.

“CaperBase is a team of pro­fes­sion­als who work di­rectly where youth are. So they spend a large amount of time at schools but they also go to other com­mu­nity events and they cre­ate events and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties,” ex­plained MacDon­ald.

“They re­ally fo­cus on the health promotion pre­ven­tion piece. They screen youth so they can help them iden­tify whether they may need more pro­fes­sional help and they screen youth for sub­stance abuse and men­tal health prob­lems.”

While it isn’t clear how sup­port for the pro­gram will be en­hanced, MacDon­ald does think they will need to in­crease the num­ber of staff and the num­ber or fre­quency of pro­grams they of­fer.

They may also de­cide to de­velop new pro­grams based on need. All of this will be de­ter­mined over the plan­ning phase, which she said is start­ing soon and will last three to four weeks.

“It’s a very brief plan­ning phase be­cause we don’t want this to de­lay the ini­tia­tive. We will meet with our com­mu­nity part­ners, youth and fam­i­lies, to get their in­put,” she said.

“Our role will be to plan to­gether to find out in what ar­eas, whether that’s in our com­mu­ni­ties or in our schools, that some of the high­est risk and high­est needs youth are.”

Some meet­ings will hap­pen with youth who will have in­put as to the type of pro­grams they would like to see.

MacDon­ald said she hopes the en­hanced sup­port will help them reach more youth than they do now and that it might help peo­ple who are wait­ing to see men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als. The current wait time for chil­dren and ado­les­cents is 10–12 weeks af­ter re­fer­ral un­less it is an ur­gent re­fer­ral, where the youth will get an ap­point­ment within seven days.

“CaperBase also may be able to pro­vide some sup­port to help re­solve some milder men­tal health is­sues for those who don’t need for­mal help from men­tal health and ad­dic­tions,” she said.

“What I would like to see hap­pen is that we are able to sup­port youth so that we help them build a re­silient in­di­vid­ual, re­silient schools and re­silient com­mu­ni­ties so that they see there are so­lu­tions even when they feel there are none. And that they can see there are peo­ple who want to help.”

MacDon­ald

NIKKI SUL­LI­VAN/CAPE BRETON POST

CaperBase, lo­cated at 808 Ge­orge St. in Syd­ney, pro­vides re­sources, men­tor­ing and pro­gram­ming fo­cused on build­ing re­silience among young peo­ple.

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