January 31, 2016 - 2:39 PM
KELOWNA – Some of the region’s most vulnerable youth living with mental illness are receiving better care, thanks to a generous gift from Scotiabank.
Scotiabank’s donation of $10,000, presented to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, is to directly support the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (APU) at Kelowna General Hospital. The gift is part of Scotiabank’s overall commitment of $50,000 to the APU.
“Scotiabank is committed to making a difference in our local communities by supporting organizations that are committed to helping young people reach their full potential,” says Rob Edwardsen, Branch Manager, Kelowna Main Branch at Scotiabank. “We hope that through this donation, we will help give young people get the support they need to help understand and manage their mental health in a compassionate environment.”
The APU at KGH provides service to youth from across the Interior Health region. It offers one of only five specialized programs in the Province for youth aged 12 to 17 with complex mental health issues. The unit has served over 800 youth since opening ten years ago in November 2005. On average, a young person will stay 2 to 3 weeks.
The most common diagnoses are depression and anxiety.
“Today’s youth struggle with mental health challenges and with the support of community partners like Scotiabank, we are able to purchase much-needed equipment and supplies to assist them in building the skills needed to better understand and cope with these challenges,” explains APU manager Colleen McEwan.
As a result of this gift, McEwan is able to purchase sensory aids to support coping, as well as three I-Pads which can be used for a variety of purposes from skill development to guided meditation. The funds also allow youth to participate in community outings (bowling, going to the gym, mini-golf, bike riding and skating) to test their new coping skills.
At the heart of the APU is a team of committed and passionate staff and physicians who care deeply about supporting positive mental health for young people. While on the unit, youth and their families will work with child psychiatrists, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, social workers, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and youth care counsellors. A teacher and learning aids are also available on the unit to support learning and facilitate a classroom setting.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016