Many of the 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. Some young people cope by turning to substance use.
British Columbia has been amid a public health emergency as a result of the increasing deaths due to opioids. Since the public health emergency was declared in 2016, BC has consistently reported the highest overdose death rate of any Canadian province. The young people, our staff, and our community are feeling the impact.
A preliminary report by the Homeless Hub, on youth addictions during COVID-19, found that there was an increase in youths’ feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
How Covenant House Vancouver Helps
Covenant House Vancouver offers youth an opportunity to address any counselling and psychiatric needs they may have. When it becomes apparent that a young person is struggling with mental health or addiction issues, a social worker on our Case Management Team refers them to one of our in-house Registered Clinical Counsellors. 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. Covenant House Vancouver has a relationship with the Foundry and their team of psychiatrists with who our clinical counsellors work with to provide the most effective care possible.
How You Can Help
On Thursday, February 17, Covenant House Vancouver will be hosting Sleep Out: Champions Edition. This virtual event will be raising funds to support the mental health and addictions programs at CHV.
Contact the Sleep Out Team if you would like more information about how you can get involved.