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It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week!

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).

Many youth living on the streets of Vancouver experience mental health concerns that are often left undiagnosed including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

When it becomes apparent that a youth is struggling with a mental health concern a Social Worker on our Case Management Team refers them to one of our in-house Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC). The youth and their Clinical Counsellor will determine what supports the youth requires through a trusting, confidential relationship.

The youth’s therapy may involve one-to-one counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Art Therapy, referral to a psychiatrist, referral to a treatment centre, or a combination of services.

We believe that providing mental health supports to youth while they are still young is key to preventing lifelong homelessness and helps youth to become health, independent adults.