The Maple Ridge Youth Wellness Centre will soon be able to expand its range of services following support from the provincial Foundry program. A collaborative effort between the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative, the facility began as a three-month pilot project after the Ridge Meadows CYMHSU Local Action Team (LAT) identified a need for more comprehensive health services – particularly psychiatry – for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows youth.
Dr Matthew Chow provides child and youth psychiatric services at the Centre, while community GPs and division members Drs Ursula Luitingh, Elizabeth Zubek, Melodie Prem-Smith, Len Hatelid, and Al Neufeld provide general mental health support.
Located in the Greg Moore Youth Centre, the facility is open 4-6 p.m. Thursday nights, providing youth aged 8-24 with access to:
- A family doctor with whom they can discuss their mental health.
- Referrals to youth psychiatrist, Dr Matt Chow.
- Referral to a youth advocate, who can connect them with mental health and substance use programs and services in the community (including free or affordable counselling, youth and parent peer support groups, and a variety of therapies).
- Services from Options for Sexual Health, an organization offering drop-in appointments at the same time/location as the Youth Wellness Centre.
In June 2016, Drs Chow, Hatlelid, Luitingh, Prem-Smith, and Zubek received Doctors of BC's Excellence in Health Promotion Award for their work in creating and supporting the Youth Wellness Centre.
Additional community partners in the project include youth, parents, family physicians, pediatricians, the RCMP, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and area school districts and social service agencies.
For more information about child and youth wellness services and facilities in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, visit the Ridge Meadows Division site or view the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Child and Youth Wellness Resource Guide.