All In for Children and Youth: United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB launches Regional Strategic Coordinators to expand support for youth mental health

Moncton, Wednesday, May 26, 2021

MONCTON, May 26, 2021 - United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB region (GMSENB), with the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) Partnership and the New Brunswick Government Department of Health, Addictions and Mental Health Branch, is pleased to announce the launch of Regional Strategic Coordinators in Kent County and Miramichi. The Regional Strategic Coordinators will help children and youth aged 13 to 21 facing mental health and addiction challenges connect to who and what they need for success in school and life.

The Regional Strategic Coordinators will accompany youth as they access services focused on mental health, skill development, housing, and education and advocate for the supports they need to realize their potential. They will serve as connecting points, identifying and filling gaps in the system through collaboration with community partners, and especially the Child and Youth Teams that are part of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) in the province.

“This is a person-centered initiative that seeks to provide key supports on the road to mental health recovery,” said Stéphane Bérubé, Director of Child and Youth Services, Department of Addiction and Mental Health. “We know that this journey is unique for every youth and that a trusting relationship with an adult can be a meaningful protective factor. This is a promising practice with true potential to enhance the existing continuum of supports and services for children and youth.”

The Regional Strategic Coordinators, Aaron Shantz and Martin Moir, have already begun to work on outcomes such as developing partnerships that ensure youth and young adults with addiction, mental health issues, or emotional and behavioral needs have timely access to appropriate services and supports – particularly within the community where the youth and family reside. Early connections have included Social Development, Horizon Health, the Miramichi Youth House, the Centre de pédiatrie sociale and the Kent Regional Services Commission.

“We are pleased to partner with United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB and the New Brunswick Government Department of Health to support the work of the Regional Strategic Coordinators through the Bell-GBF Partnership, helping to make mental health supports more readily available to young people in New Brunswick,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Young people are facing unique mental health challenges compounded by the COVID-19 crisis. This integrated approach will help ensure that youth and their families have coordinated and timely access to the supports they need most.”

The challenges to youth and families in more rural communities can vary according to needs and even culture. The Regional Strategic Coordinators will place their focus on the existing assets and resources in Kent County and Miramichi, including the local Integrated Service Delivery Child and Youth Teams and Education Support Service Teams associated with the participating schools of École Mgr-Marcel-François-Richard in the Francophone South School District and Max Aitken Academy in Anglophone North School District.

“Our belief is that community, government, philanthropy, youth and their families working together will improve access to services,” said Elana Ludman, the Graham Boeckh Foundation’s Vice-President, Youth Mental Health. “The Bell-GBF Partnership is pleased to support this work and hopes that this project will demonstrate that through the role of the Regional Strategic Coordinators, more young people can get the supports that they need, when they need them, in their own communities, leading to improved mental health and well-being outcomes.”

The Regional Strategic Coordinator project is inspired by the United Way-led initiative called YOU Turns that has been in place in the Greater Moncton area since 2012. Individual organizations realized they could not address issues such as chronic absenteeism, increased anxiety and depression, and lack of access to supports on their own: community and government agencies joined forces to tackle it together using a Collective Impact approach.

“Every partner around the YOU Turns table believes that success and hope are different for everyone, and that youth need and deserve authentic, trusting relationships that are caring and motivating,” said Debbie McInnis, CEO of United Way of GMSENB. “The level of trust and collaboration of stakeholders is very inspiring, and it is necessary as we adapt to emerging challenges in our region.”

The Regional Strategic Coordinators are essential to advancing the kind of profound collaboration that is required in order to improve outcomes for our young people. The hope is to scale the position and approach to other communities across the province after a two-year demonstration period. At the heart of this project is a renewed understanding that we are all responsible for the success of our children and youth: educators, counselors, parents, caregivers, coaches, nurses, police officers, neighbours and friends. We need everyone to be All In for children and youth!

About United Way Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick
For more than 65 years, United Way has worked to improve communities in Southeastern New Brunswick. We create long-term, sustainable change. We focus on creating strong communities by moving people from poverty to possibility and helping kids be all that they can be. Through our Annual Fundraising Campaign, hundreds of workplaces, individuals and agencies partner with us to create long-lasting meaningful change. To learn more, visit gmsenbunitedway.ca.

About Graham Boeckh Foundation
The Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) is a private family foundation that has been working for many years to advance the cause of mental health and mental wellness. Its mission is to catalyze transformational change in the mental health sector in order to improve outcomes for patients with or at risk of mental illness. For more details, please visit grahamboeckhfoundation.org.

About Bell Let’s Talk
The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,100 organizations providing mental health supports and services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Media contact:
Paul Toner
Associate Director, United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB Region
ptoner@moncton.unitedway.ca
506-858-8600 x3665