Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna and District

The Canadian Mental Health Association facilitates access to the resources individuals require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness.

CMHA Kelowna

“CB25 helped me get back in touch with community and society. Not a lot of opportunities for me to get in touch with a normal style of life. Possible career paths have opened up, like I’m thinking about culinary stuff. I got that through Supper Club.” – Participant

 The initiative :

Connected by 25 : Supporting Successful Transitions to Adulthood for Vulnerable Young People in the Central Okanagen. This initiative focuses on the needs of youth aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of falling through the cracks as they transitional to adulthood and facilitates access to the supports they need. Key objectives of the program:

  • Build the individual capacity of the youth, focussing on relationships, skills, knowledge, and abilities, in order to enhance their resiliency and reduce risk as they transition to adulthood
  • Build community capacity to ensure that young people who require support services can access them
  • Work towards systemic and policy reform to ensure that those in the 16 to 24 age group have a system of care that is responsive to their needs and a voice in the policy issues that directly affect them, including poverty, a living wage, employment, and lack of affordable housing.

Impact for youth:

  • Staff support in navigating complicated youth and adult mental health systems
  • Support in navigating income support system
  • Accessing the right kind of help when needed
  • Preventing homelessness
  • Identifying barriers experienced by youth transitioning to adulthood that can be addressed by the community, thus resulting in better protocols, coordination and policy
  • Increased inter-agency collaboration as individuals connected with youth services become too old to be served by one organization and require linkages to new supports.

Results from 2 year pilot phase:

  • 100 % of youth engaged with the program reported increased knowledge of community based resources for adults and connection to community resources
  • 88% reported an increase in life skills knowledge and development
  • 75% reported an increase in overall health and wellness
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