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What’s happening in CHV’s Crisis Program?

The Crisis Program is part of CHV’s continuum of care. Along with safe, supported housing, young people receive food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. They can also receive employment and education supports, access to counsellors and social workers, and help in transitioning to independence, when they are ready.

Most importantly, young people can stay in the Crisis Program free of charge for as long as they need to, because getting through a crisis takes as long as it takes.

Youth in the Crisis Program have goals that they have set for themselves and action plans as to how they are going to attain those goals. As part of CHV’s holistic approach to healing trauma and supporting youth on their journeys, there are regular opportunities for youth to express themselves and take time for themselves to explore who they are.

Yoga is one form of recreation that CHV offers. Yoga can improve overall health and help with achieving mental clarity and calmness. Aside from its physical benefits on the body, research shows that practicing yoga changes the structure of your brain, creating new connections and activating the areas that are responsible for:

Studies using brain imaging technology, such as MRI scans, show a thicker cerebral cortex (the image processing area of the brain), and hippocampus (the learning and memory parts of the brain) compared to the people who did not practice yoga.

Another way that youth can express themselves, which can also be therapeutically beneficial, is through art. As one art therapist at CHV explains, “When trauma happens at a young age, where children don’t have the words to express what they’re feeling, this trauma memory gets stored in the body as feelings and sensations. This is why expressive arts therapies can be so useful—because they engage the body as well as the mind and allow the trauma to be expressed externally.”

Whether youth participate in art therapy classes or simply have the opportunity to create for fun, the process is beneficial to their well-being. The art studio is also a place where youth can feel comfortable, safe, build trust, and get familiar with their peers and with staff.

Recently, youth in the Crisis Program created their own tote bags and fairy gardens.

If you would like to stay up to date on what’s happening at Covenant House Vancouver, you can follow us on Twitter @CovenantHouseBCInstagram @covenanthousebcLinkedInFacebook, and TikTok.