For many youth in and from the child welfare system, the practice of self-care is critical to a healthy transition to independence. Defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “care for oneself”, some common self-care practices include meditation, yoga, and exercise. These skills provide young people with the ability to improve and maintain their mental and physical wellness, which in turn allows them to build their identities and focus on building their careers, education, and interpersonal relationships.
League, a benefits provider, has partnered with Children’s Aid Foundation to once again host Self Care Day, an event that offers multiple self-care services — from dental care to personal training and massage therapy. Set for Sunday, July 30, the event is part of League’s Youth Health and Wellness Initiative, and will welcome young people from care for a day filled with networking and free self-care services.
“I was very surprised at all the services that were available for youth,” says Cheyanne, an individual who has previous experience with care, child welfare advocate, and attendee at last year’s League-sponsored Self Care Day. Accessing the massage therapy service, along with consultations from a personal trainer, chiropractor, and naturopath, Cheyanne adds that although access to these services is often impossible for young people who have left care, they can not only improve young peoples’ physical wellbeing, but also their emotional wellness. “Sometimes young people who are going through care might not feel like they deserve these services; they might go through a bit of a rut or they’re shy to even try them out. It’s really great that League can offer this opportunity; young people can try these things for themselves and get a sense for whether or not they like them.”
By working with young people from care, like Cheyanne, League is working to establish health and wellness programs that will best serve this vulnerable population. “I appreciated the fact that I got to sit down with League in an ongoing conversation about the development of the program itself, and tapping-into my expertise [as an individual with lived experience within the child welfare system and a professional who engages with children and youth from care],” says Cheyanne. “That really showed me that League is trying to understand the needs of youth and adults from care.” Adding that most youth transitioning out of care are also going through very personal, and often very difficult, healing journeys, self-care can be critical to their recovery. “Having a roster of diverse professionals on the League team will be very helpful for youth from care.”
“Sometimes young people who are going through care might not feel like they deserve these services; they might go through a bit of a rut or they’re shy to even try them out. It’s really great that League can offer this opportunity…”
“One of our core beliefs at League is that it’s your health and you need to prioritize it. Relying on anyone else to make your health their priority, be it your family, your friends, employer or the government, presents significant risks,” says Colin Bettam, chief marketing officer at League. “Establishing good health and wellness habits, that are right for you, at an early age, will set a solid foundation for a healthier, happier future.”