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Partnership Creates Unique Opportunity For Martensville Youth

by Shanine Sealey

A partnership between Possibilities Recovery Centre and Carter’s Counselling Services has created a new opportunity for local youth called Martensville Youth Connection (MYC), which is a drop-in support taking place Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3:00pm – 9:00pm.

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.

MYC will offer mental health and addiction education and programming, which include information, education and skill-building opportunities for those aged 12-16 years old. Topics covered will include areas such as mental health, addictions, coping skills, employment readiness, resume writing and more.

Youth attending can read, work on homework, play cards or games, work out at the gym, 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 will take place from 6:00pm to 8:30pm and will be selected and overseen by a Registered Social Worker and delivery by diploma level counsellors that have also lived experience with addiction and mental health disorders. The first hour will include 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.

The final hour will involve role-playing the new skills and small group discussion of how to implement these skills in daily life. Staff can also complete recommendations or referrals to other agencies and resources as needed to further support the youth’s mental wellness and set them up for success. This could include medical visit recommendations, mental health counselling, addiction treatment programs or sports and athletic programs.

Additionally, MYC will work 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, 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 are able to 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.

Businesses can get involved by contacting 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 possibilitiesrecovery.ca.

“We have a lot of exciting things coming up, such as fundraisers and other community events which will hopefully help us to create 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 or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ourmyc.

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