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Care close to home: Integrated Youth Services announces seven new sites across the province

Article provided by IWK Health and Andrea Slaney

No appointment necessary, no fees and no need to travel: the goal of Integrated Youth Services (IYS) is to connect youth and their caregivers with the right supports, at the right time, close to home.

It’s a goal that will now positively impact even more people with the announcement of seven new IYS sites across Nova Scotia.

“It’s easy to struggle at a young age but hard to get help to overcome our challenges,” said Morgan Garnhum of Bridgewater. “Multiple appointments, different agencies and no clear path made it difficult for my family and I to receive support and direction.”

Garnhum is confident the new IYS sites will ensure a bright future for other children and youth.

“It is important to me that families who are struggling will now be able to receive proactive support in their communities,” Garnhum added. “Integrated Youth Services will help young people to get back on their feet."

The announcement was made Wednesday in New Glasgow – the location of one of the new sites. Other sites will be located in Amherst, Bridgewater, North End Halifax, West End Halifax, Sydney and Eskasoni.

IYS will provide an unprecedented care experience to youth aged 12 – 25 and caregivers – offering vital mental health, addiction, wellness and social services within one location.

Services at each site are coordinated and provided by known and trusted community-based organizations with support and leadership from IWK Health.

“IWK Health is proud to be leading in partnership with communities in the development of Integrated Youth Services, a first of its kind for Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Krista Jangaard, CEO IWK Health. “Working closely with community partners, youth and caregivers, together we’ll create services rooted in evidence, with research embedded to ensure we continue to adapt to meet the needs of youth, caregivers and families.”

The unique collaborative model brings together the strength of healthcare providers, community organizations, government and philanthropic partners – including the IWK Foundation, the Medavie Foundation and the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership.

“Together with our generous community of donors, the IWK Foundation is committed to changing the course of mental health and addictions care for children and youth throughout the Maritimes,” said Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Foundation. “We are proud to join national and local partners to support the creation of IYS in Nova Scotia.”

You can learn more about IYS and the new community sites here.