Laing House is entering its second year of a pilot program in Yarmouth with $165,536 in funding from the provincial government.
The organization provides support to teenagers and young adults (ages 16-29) in the area who are dealing with mental health issues such as mood, psychosis and/or anxiety disorders.
Hilary Rankin, executive director for Laing House, says to have funding to expand programming in Yarmouth is critical to provide assistance in this part of the province.
"We know more and more youth are facing mental health challenges, both diagnosed and undiagnosed,” she said. “With this funding, we'll be able to offer more drop-in programming for youth and we'll work with community partners to roll out peer support and peer support training, which is an essential component to mental wellness and recovery.
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Zach Churchill made the funding announcement at Laing House’s location: 101 Water St., Pier One Building- Suite 1A, on July 15.
“Mental health, particularly for youth, has been a real focus for the public and the government over the last number of years. We’ve looked at expanding mental health services in our schools and we’re also looking at ways of doing that in our health systems,” Churchill said.
Laing House provides programming and supports for not only young people, but also their families.
Rankin says the Yarmouth team try to help youth learn how to communicate and manage their own perceptions of the world and how to manage some difficult symptoms.
“We want youth to know that when they come to our programming that they can get support and they’re walking into a place where people aren’t judging them or questioning why are they doing this,” she said.
“Honestly, it’s about making friends.”
The funding will allow Laing House to:
-- focus on delivering consistent, quality programming for youth
-- work with other youth organizations on positive mental health programs for vulnerable youth
-- deliver drop-in programs specific to those that self-identify as having mental health challenges
-- work with community partners to form a support group for families to better support their children
-- improve supports for Yarmouth staff such as referral and intake processes
-- improve evaluation and monitoring practices for all Laing House sites.