Manitoba Government News Release–The Manitoba government is providing $220,000 to the NorWest Youth Hub and Tamarack Recovery Centre for additional counselling support and staffing resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.
“The pressures and uncertainty of a pandemic have made it even harder for people already struggling with mental health and addictions issues,” said Gordon. “We are committed to protecting Manitobans, and this investment will improve access to mental health and addictions support for those dealing with the effects of the pandemic.”
The funding will be used to provide counselling support, additional staffing resources and physically distanced services including $185,000 to NorWest Co-op Community Health for additional staff in the Youth Hub to support 50 to 100 new clients, offer approximately 150 more counselling sessions a month and add more mental health support groups for youth.
“As the pandemic has stretched on past its first year, the mental health needs of youth continue to grow, and we have received an unprecedented level of referrals for mental health support – the highest in our Youth Hub’s history,” said Nancy Heinrichs, executive director of NorWest Co-op Community Health. “This funding will allow us to continue providing rapid access for youth mental health counselling and mental health support groups for which we are seeing a significant increase in demand.”
A further $35,000 is being provided to Tamarack Recovery Centre to expand its Addictions Counselling Phone Service. This non-crisis support service provides people with no-cost, individualized sessions with their addictions counsellors. The funding will allow the organization to dedicate two staff members to run the Addictions Counselling Phone Service and provide remote aftercare services to program graduates.
“This funding will facilitate crucial supports and connection between Tamarack and the wider community during this time of increased stress and vulnerability,” said Lisa Cowan, executive director of Tamarack Recovery Centre. “By providing accessible ways for individuals to address mental health and addiction challenges with a supportive counsellor, we can create opportunities to move from isolation and despair to taking the first steps back into hopeful recovery.”
The minister noted that these initiatives align with the VIRGO report, and support access to evidence-based mental health and addictions care.
The funding announced today builds on previous investments in the NorWest Youth Hub and other mental health and addictions programs. Since 2019, the Manitoba government has announced 31 initiatives valued at more than $50.6 million to improve mental health and addictions services throughout the province.