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Manitoba Government News Release–The Manitoba government, Shared Health and a group of philanthropic partners led by United Way Winnipeg are expanding Integrated Youth Services (IYS) in Manitoba by awarding five additional Youth Hub sites, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced Thursday.

“Navigating the system to find the right services, especially when it comes to mental health and addictions, can be daunting for youth,” said Gordon. “Each of these Youth Hubs will bring together mental health care, addiction services, primary care, peer support and other social services together in one youth-friendly site.”

Youth Hubs provide low-barrier, integrated services for young people and their families at a single easy-to-access location. A network of organizations and service providers work closely together to provide youth-centred services across a continuum of care so that young people can access all of the core health services they need in one place.

The five new sites include:
• an Indigenous-led Youth Hub serving the Centennial and Point Douglas neighbourhoods, located at and led by Ka Ni Kanichihk, in Winnipeg. Its primary partners include the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network and the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development.
• a downtown-based Youth Hub located in the West Broadway neighbourhood of Winnipeg, led by the Canadian Mental Health Association. Primary partners include the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Eagle Urban Transition Centre, Youth Employment Services, Family Dynamics and the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation.
• a Westman–region Youth Hub in downtown Brandon, led by the Westman Youth for Christ in partnership with the Brandon Friendship Centre, Career and Employment Youth Services (C.E.Y.S. Brandon), and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and supported by Prairie Mountain Health. The hub will continue to establish key partnerships driven by youth input as well the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health at Brandon University will support ongoing youth-centred evaluation of the hub.
• a Youth Hub in downtown Selkirk serving Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from Selkirk, Peguis First Nation and other Interlake communities, created by Peguis First Nation. Primary partners include the Interlake–Eastern Regional Health Authority, the Lord Selkirk School Division, the START Program and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
• a Youth Hub for families in St. Boniface/St. Vital neighbourhoods in Winnipeg, including francophone, newcomer and Indigenous youth, led by Youville Clinic. Primary partners include Centre de santé de St. Boniface, Aulneau Renewal Centre, Marymound, Sara Riel and Teen Stop Jeunesse.

“The strength of the Youth Hub model is how partners work together in a different way to ensure that services are truly integrated, youth-driven and accessible,” said Dwayne Dyck of the Brandon Youth Hub partnership. “This lets us bring in as many partners as there are needs, not only here in Brandon, but for the broader Westman region.”

Youth Hubs have been shown to:
• improve access to mental health and addiction services for young people;
• better co-ordinate and integrate mental health and addiction services with the broad range of care, supports and services needed by youth and families;
• provide meaningful engagement and involvement for youth and their families in the planning, delivery, evaluation and continuous improvement of IYS;
• more effectively provide early intervention and health promotion to help with issues before they become bigger and affect relationships, school, work or other aspects of a young person’s life;
• decrease stigma around mental health and addictions; and
• increase quality of life for young people.

The five Youth Hub partnerships announced today were selected in response to a call for proposals issued in November 2020 and will serve a large number of youth in some of our province’s highest-needs areas, noted the minister.

“These spaces are so important for youth,” said Kayleigh, a young person who helped the Ka Ni Kanichihk-led partnership develop their initial proposal. “These Youth Hubs will be safe places, where youth can feel like a big family, feel loved, and receive the help and support that they need.”

The Manitoba government is investing $1.92 million in this youth hub expansion, and the philanthropic partnership including the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership, United Way Winnipeg, RBC Foundation, The Winnipeg Foundation, the Moffat Family Fund, the Réseau Compassion Network and others will be contributing $2.96 million over three years. United Way Winnipeg is leading and co-ordinating the initiative including the creation of a Manitoba Youth Hubs Network to enable shared capacity building across all youth hub sites.

“We know the needs of youth in our community are significant and growing. We are committed to helping to transform services so they work better for young people and their families,” said Connie Walker, president and CEO of United Way Winnipeg. “On behalf of United Way donors and our philanthropic partners, we are pleased to support the expansion of youth hub sites with the intent of improving outcomes for the health and well-being of youth – our community’s future.”

Manitoba’s first youth hub providing integrated services was established at NorWest Co-Op Community Health in Winnipeg in 2017.

The Youth Hubs further enhance mental health and addictions support capacity for youth, a main recommendation of the 2018 Province of Manitoba strategy on Improving Access and Co-ordination of Mental Health and Addictions Services (the VIRGO Report). For more information on the VIRGO report and its recommendations, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/mha/strategy.html.