For children and youth growing up in the child welfare system, exposure to childhood trauma is almost universal. Because of this, young people in and from care are more likely to suffer from unaddressed mental health issues. In fact, 82% of children and youth in care have been diagnosed with special needs, including physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and social difficulties. Unfortunately, many of these youth are not only unaware of mental health resources available within their communities, but treatment services are often inaccessible due to service gaps, a complex system with long wait lists, and a lack of specialized services that are often required.
The Hudson’s Bay Foundation Youth Mental Health Fund aims to raise awareness, address stigma and improve the mental health outcomes of youth leaving the care of the child welfare system by removing financial barriers and building awareness for available mental health supports. By providing flexible resources to accommodate the unique needs of this population of vulnerable young people, as well as access to critical supports related to mental health, youth will have the opportunity to address past trauma and move forward to pursue educational and employment opportunities that help them to build a brighter future.
In 2019-2020, 354 youth were helped through the HBC Youth Mental Health program.
Story of Impact:
JESSIE started working with one of our agency partners after an assault from a boyfriend put her in the hospital. They were called to the emergency room and invited her to start therapy for trauma and addiction issues. They connected her to another agency partner for housing and educational supports and continued with our therapy. They were also able to help her mitigate food insecurity issues with a local food bank. After months of relapses, hospital stays, and police interventions because of attachment disorder issues with a dysfunctional boyfriend, she is now sober, has finished a vet assistant training program, and is working.
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