Dedicated Huddle Youth Sites Combine Primary Care, Peer Support and Social Services to Improve Access for Youth: Guillemard[May 4, 2022] BRANDON—The Manitoba government is combining and co-ordinating mental health, addictions and social service supports for youth at several service hub locations in the province to improve access to the care they need, Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard announced here today.
“Managing your mental health as a young adult is difficult enough without wondering where to go for the different types of supports you may need,” said Guillemard. “The Manitoba government and United Way are taking an innovative and collaborative approach to providing integrated services more comprehensively and in ways that respond better to the needs of our youth as they find connection and support through these youth hub sites.”
Following a youth-engaged process, the Manitoba Youth Hubs Initiative locations are coming under the new Huddle brand and bringing multiple health and community service partners together to provide easy-to-find, inclusive and welcoming wrap-around supports to Manitobans aged 12 to 29 and to their families. Huddle sites will also bridge Indigenous and Western models of health care to better serve diverse youth.
Six Huddle sites in Winnipeg, Brandon and Selkirk will be available in Manitoba:
- Huddle NorWest in Winnipeg, open since 2017;
- Huddle Broadway in central Winnipeg;
- Huddle South Central in the St. Boniface area of Winnipeg;
- Huddle Ka Ni Kanichihk, an Indigenous-led site in north Winnipeg;
- Huddle Brandon serving the Westman region; and
- Huddle Selkirk, an Indigenous-led site led by Peguis First Nation, opening later in 2022.
“In my 10 years of serving youth in Westman, I have experienced a high degree of trust and collaboration between youth-serving agencies. Huddle Brandon takes that one step further in one location,” said Shaun Funk, director, Huddle Brandon. “We have already seen a youth enter Huddle Brandon to see an addiction counsellor and leave connected to a peer supporter with plans to attend a skill-based anxiety group the next day in the same location. We know that health and wellness is a holistic experience, and having us working together under one roof in a highly integrated and youth-centred way will increase accessibility and quality of care for all youth and their families.”
The new Huddle brand includes the tagline Here for Youth.
“As a member of the Huddle Youth Advisory Council in Brandon and initiative-wide, I am incredibly grateful to be involved in envisioning and creating Huddle,” said Sachi Villanueva of the Huddle Youth Advisory Council. “As a first-generation immigrant, I will continue to use experiences from my mental health journey to address gaps in services, identify groups that are underserved and work toward eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health support.”
In March 2021, the Manitoba government announced a $1.92-million investment in the creation of five hub sites to expand integrated services for children and youth across Manitoba. In addition, philanthropic organizations led by United Way Winnipeg invested $3.41 million over three years.
“Youth have told us they need safe, comfortable spaces to access free, trauma-informed and culturally safe care,” said Connie Walker, president and CEO, United Way Winnipeg. “We are so pleased to scale this innovative and transformational approach for integrated youth services in partnership with the province of Manitoba and Shared Health and with support from United Way Winnipeg donors and philanthropic partners including the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership, RBC Foundation, The Winnipeg Foundation, Reseau Compassion Network and others.”
The Huddle initiative aligns with key priorities outlined in A Pathway to Mental Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba , a new strategic plan for the province’s mental health and addictions recovery system and broader wellness and health promotion programs over the next five years. The roadmap report was released in February following consultations with thousands of Manitobans including experts, advocates, service providers and people with lived experience to identify and prioritize key areas in which Manitoba Mental Health and Community Wellness can lead the path forward.
For more information, visit www.HuddleManitoba.ca.
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