The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) is pleased to announce—just in time for Bell Let’s Talk Day on Wednesday, January 26—that it has received a Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant. The $20,000 grant helped fund the Youth Mental Health Intensive Day Treatment program at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) which launched in September 2021.
This innovative program facilitated by KHSC, funded by donors like Bell, is aimed at those over the age of 16 who are struggling with significant mental health problems. It will serve those who require highly-intensive services offered by very specialized staff.
“This program has been our dream for a long time,” says Nicholas Axas, Program Operational Director for Mental Health and Addiction Care at KHSC. “The grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund will go a long way in starting to help our most vulnerable youth access the services and support they need, including materials for activities and access to therapy, that will help them develop valuable coping skills.”
This program is the first of its kind in the Kingston area and offers the same level of highly-specialized care and therapy that other specialized populations receive. The program will also help KHSC reduce wait times while avoiding unnecessary admissions to the Emergency Department or inpatient mental health and addiction units at the Kingston General Hospital site.
“Discovering and acting on issues earlier will prevent mental health difficulties from snowballing into adulthood,” continues Axas. “This will help limit the future burdens of poor adult mental health outcomes, and significantly reduce costs placed on our health care system, through visits to emergency rooms.”
The program also offers a safe space and wraparound care. It helps youth avoid behaviours that might put them at risk and give them opportunities to engage in academic programs to help them overcome barriers to employment.
“UHKF was advised that it was a Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund recipient last summer,” says Abby McIlquham, Associate Director of Healthcare Advancement at UHKF. “This news meant we were one step closer to funding the entire program. Without donors like Bell, programs like this one wouldn’t be possible. Bell helped KHSC make the program a reality—thank you.”
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to support UHKF in providing youth in the Kingston region access to the specialized care they need close to home,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provides grants to mental health organizations in communities throughout the country, including those like UHKF working to expand access to mental health care for more young people when and where they need it.”
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let's Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.
Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk