Home » Local Businesses Come Together to Support Mental Health for Local Youth Through the Martensville Youth Connection

Local Businesses Come Together to Support Mental Health for Local Youth Through the Martensville Youth Connection

by Jocelyn Ottenbreit

A partnership between Possibilities Recovery Centre and Carter’s Counselling Services opened a new opportunity for local youth called Martensville Youth Connection (MYC) in March of this year, which is a drop-in support group that takes place evenings throughout the week in Martensville.

This is Martensville’s first and only Charitable Youth Center that is dedicated to improving the lives of youth right here in our community. MYC offers mental health and addiction education and programming which includes information, education, and skill-building opportunities for ages 10-16 years old. They also are involved in community projects and events such as community clean-up and cooking for our seniors.

The idea for this support came after realizing that there was a lack of programming options for young people in Martensville. “I started seeing children and youths through my counselling business, Carter’s Counselling Services, in Martensville. Having worked in Mental Health and Addictions in the past, I knew there were many youth programming options and resources in Saskatoon, but none specifically in Martensville. As a social worker, I know that transportation (among other things) can be a barrier to accessing resources and I wanted young people in the community to be able to access services without barriers,” Katharine Carter explained.

Youth attending can read, work on homework, play cards or games, or partake in activities that are lined up. They will also be provided with free access to healthy, nutritious snacks as part of a holistic care philosophy.

Programming takes place every night during the week with the exception of Wednesday, and is overseen by a Registered Social Worker and diploma level counsellors that also have experience with addiction and mental health disorders. This includes education and discussion on subjects such as positive self-image/self-esteem, triggers, self-harm, suicide intervention, mental health and addictions and resources that are available in the community.

Additionally, MYC works to connect youth with opportunities in the community to prepare them for the workforce with businesses looking for student workers or volunteers.

“We feel this is beneficial because youth need something meaningful to do, especially during the pandemic, which has isolated all of us for the past two years. They need social connection and a welcoming place to go where they can talk about what’s bothering them, receive education and skills training and learn about healthy coping skills, amongst other things. The benefits are immeasurable. Youths are our future, and when they are healthy as individuals, it contributes to the health of the community and society in general,” Carter stated.

Carter’s Counselling Services opened in December of 2020, and at that time, Carter saw that there were limited options for counselling services within the community. The partnership with Possibilities Recovery Centre (PRC) came after Carter began looking for ways to expand youth programming and services in Martensville. PRC was working on developing a youth mental wellness program and the two met to discuss ways to support one another and discovered similarities in their goals, so decided to work together. “PRC is a registered charity, and they can issue tax receipts for donations. This helps immensely raising funds as our goal remains to keep this program available free of charge for everyone. To do that, we rely on grants, donations, and investment from the business community,” Carter explained.

Because the MYC is not currently publicly funded, they need the community’s support to keep the center open. The organization has received some generous donations to date and used them to operate the center by having qualified facilitators, nutritious snacks for the youths, activities to partake in and counselling for individuals who request it.

There will be a fundraiser event on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at the Adobe Inn in Martensville hosted by Martensville Plumbing & Heating, Infinity Salon & Spa and the Martensville Messenger to help raise money to support the center. The event includes raffle prizes, a silent auction and 50/50. The cost is $25 a ticket and all funds raised will be used to go towards the MYC for charitable admissions to their program. All information regarding the event is on the poster below.

They will gratefully accept any donations that people are willing to contribute such as; silent auction items, raffle prizes and monetary contributions. Cheque or e-transfer to possibilitiesrecovery@gmail.com are accepted. Please state MYC in the note sections.

“In appreciation of your donation, we will recognize you or your company on our social media pages leading up to, and after the event. For donations greater than $500, sponsors will also get recognition during the event. Income Tax receipts can be issued for monetary and in-kind donations,” said Carter.

Visit the Friends of the MYC Facebook page to learn more about this fundraiser, as well as upcoming events to help to ensure the future of the Martensville Youth Connection.

If other businesses want to get involved in helping the center, you can contact Katharine Carter through her website at carterscounsellingservices.ca, or by calling 1-866-923-5664. They can also contact Tanner Perratt at Possibilities Recovery Center at 306-242-7023 or visit https://possibilitiesrecovery.ca.

“By continuing to create community events and fundraisers, the hope is to bring awareness of what we’re trying to do, which ultimately is to support people with their mental health and/or addictions challenges,” Carter added.

For more information about Martensville Youth Connection, visit https://possibilitiesrecovery.ca/myc-youth-program.

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