The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington is bringing a youth mental health and support services site to the township of Fergus, ON, in Centre Wellington county.
Encompassing 6,000 square feet, the Fergus site is slated to open in June 2021, and estimates that it will serve over 5,000 youth in the area. It is the pilot for CMHA WW’s Integrated Youth Services Network (IYSN) project, which will see a total of seven sites developed across the county.
The IYSN project has a $10 million fundraising goal to achieve the launch of all seven sites.
Each site will provide services such as mental health and addiction counselling, employment support, and peer-to-peer programs, to youth aged 12-26.
“Young people have been hit hard by the mental effects of the lockdown as we all do our part to decrease the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Ontario,” says Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong. “It is crucial that we are there for our youth. Organizations like CMHA play an important part in Ontario’s mental health roadmap. The Integrated Youth Services Network sites will allow youth the ability to get mental health counselling where and when they need it.”
“The IYSN project was inspired by Dr. Joanna Henderson and the Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario model,” explains Helen Fishburn, Chief Executive Officer of CMHA Waterloo Wellington. “It will have a ‘one-door’ policy which is a huge benefit to youth. It means that a young person will only need to tell their story once in order to access and use the services at any of the sites.”
Each site will be able to assess the needs of its youth clients. Through an interconnected online system, the right services will be accessible to youth no matter which site they visit. Virtual counselling will be available when professionals are off-site, reducing wait times for programs and support.
The IYSN location in Fergus is located at Skyline Community Hub, a facility owned and managed by Skyline Group of Companies. Skyline has committed to invest more than $1 million in this Hub, on behalf of its non-profit tenants, allowing for reduced construction and operating costs so that more of the non-profit organizations’ resources can be available for programming. In addition to IYSN, these tenants include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington and Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington.
“Providing the space and investment to help facilitate services for our youth is critically important for our communities, now more than ever,” says R. Jason Ashdown, Co-Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer at Skyline. “Skyline is always looking for creative and innovative ways to help effect positive change; this philosophy is integral to how we operate.”
IYSN’s Director, Cyndy Moffat Forsyth, applauds Skyline and other organizations that have offered support for the project.
“We want to show our youth that communities care, and it’s going to take support from every part of the community,” Cyndy says. “There are businesses and organizations that are stepping up and helping us reach our fundraising goal. With each level of support, we are one step closer to making the full multi-site project a reality.”
About Integrated Youth Services Network (IYSN)
Integrated Youth Services Network is a grassroots community initiative, led by the Rotary Club of Guelph, to bring an integrated youth services model to Wellington County and the city of Guelph. Youth ages 12–26 are at the centre of IYSN’s programs; they have equal access to a continuum of services, from employment to mental health and addiction services. IYSN’s vision includes service providers working together to enhance the integration of services and build a system to better meet the needs of youth in its communities.
About CMHA WW
Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW) provides programs and services for those with complex mental health and addiction issues. It serves everyone from infants to seniors. CMHA WW is the largest CMHA branch in Canada and has over 400 staff in 9 locations across Waterloo Wellington. CMHA WW offers a full continuum of care, from Mental Health Promotion to intensive team-based care.
About Skyline Group of Companies
Skyline Group of Companies (“Skyline”) is a fully integrated asset acquisition, management, and investment entity.
It is comprised of companies that provide services in real estate management and development, as well as clean energy management and development.
Skyline currently manages more than $5 billion across its real estate and clean energy platforms.
With nearly 1,000 employees across Canada, Skyline works to provide safe, clean, and comfortable places for tenants to call home, great places to do business, sustainable solutions for a greener future, and an engaging experience for its investors.
View Skyline’s 20th Anniversary celebration video to see how Skyline is grounded in real estate, powered by people, and growing for the future.
For more information about Skyline Group of Companies, please visit SkylineOnline.ca.