Cornwall getting a hub
City chosen as one of 10 sites to launch Youth Wellness Hubs in Ontario
Local youth who feel they have nowhere to turn when suffering from addiction or mental health issues will now have a safe, welcoming place to go to.
In 2017, the Ontario government announced it would be providing funding to establish 10 Youth Wellness Hubs and it was confirmed on Friday the Eastern Champlain region would be home to one hub with two locations— one in Cornwall and one in ClarenceRockland.
Cornwall Community Hospital president and CEO Jeanette Despatie said late last year, several community partners came together to consider responding to the Youth Wellness Hub of Ontario call for proposals.
“It took less than one meeting to confirm the need and to begin to work on the submission for approval,” she said. “We were all delighted to hear in the spring that our proposal had been approved and we could move forward on our planning.”
Specifically targeting youth aged 12 to 25, the Youth Wellness Hub will provide a one-stop shop for mental health, substance abuse, primary care, education and employment training, housing and other community and social service needs.
“This hub model will build on our work with our partners to integrate services and support to youth within our communities,” said Despatie. “We hope to address needs around life-skills training as well as exposure to recreation, culture and art.”
Despatie said the hub would create a pure and positive space where youth can gather.
“The program is not about extra service, but a new model of care where we hope to facilitate early identification of mental health and addiction issues,” she said.
Dr. Joanna Henderson, executive director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, said one of the reasons Cornwall and area was chosen as the location for one of these hubs was because of the enthusiasm and involvement of the community in the submission for proposal.
“There were 45 communities who submitted proposals,” she said. “So you can imagine we had a tough job in terms of those that would receive funding.”
Henderson said they were fortunate to have youth at the table with the committee and they had an equal voice in the selection of communities that would receive funding.
“This community’s application stood out for a wide variety of reasons,” she said. “As part of the application that came in there was a fabulous video put together. Videos made by youth about why a hub was needed in this community. It was very compelling. It really stood out in terms of how this community was engaging its youth in the conversation.”
Henderson said another reason this community was chosen was because the application stood out as an application for a community that was diverse and would stand out in the province. Henderson said there are 10 hubs across the province and each will work sort of the same, but different depending on the needs of the community.
“The goal really is that young people will be able to go anywhere in the province of Ontario and find the services they need easily and be able to access them quickly,” said Henderson. “The services need to be offered in a youth friendly space where young people can get all kinds of different opportunities. The goal is to improve the wellness of all young people in the province of Ontario.”
Henderson said the expectation was young people walking through the door, young people identifying for themselves within the community that this is their space. The physical location of the hub has not been determined yet. email@example.com twitter.com/LoisAnnBaker
The Cornwall Community Hospital announced the launch of a new Youth Wellness Hub on Friday. The event was attended by dignitaries and a number of youth who were involved in the presentation; seen here are Ryan Mullin, Lily Sidorchuk, Jeanette Despatie, Dr. Joanna Henderson, Cameron Scott Forrester, Micaela Harley, Aimee Lariviere, Aiden Pescar, MPP Jim McDonell and Christine Penney.