Chatham, ON – August 12, 2022 – Today, on International Youth Day, we are pleased to announce that Chatham Kent’s youth mental health centre will be known as Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario Chatham-Kent (YWHO Chatham-Kent). The name change represents an exciting step forward for youth mental health services in our community and in our province.
“Since 2016, we have been working with our community partners to support young people and theirfamilies to address their mental health and wellness needs under the ACCESS Open Minds name,” said Alan Stevenson, CEO, CMHA Lambton Kent and Vice-President Mental Health and Addictions, Chatham Kent Health Alliance, “During this time, ACCESS Open Minds Chatham-Kent has been recognized as a leader in the research and development of youth mental health services in Canada.”
The transition to Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario was initiated in 2021 as part of a provincial strategy to expand and improve mental health and substance use services for young people ages 12 -25 through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). According to Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Integrated VicePresident Mental Health and Addictions, CMHA Lambton Kent, “Access to YWHO resources ensures sustainability of these services in our community and further enables us to benefit from the most current thinking and research related to the delivery of youth mental health and addictions care. We are pleased to reflect this relationship through our new name.”
Although the name has changed, the youth hub continues to work in the same way, offering a “one-stop shop” for youth and their families looking for supports. When people walk through the doors at YWHO Chatham-Kent, they will continue to have access to resources that will address their needs related to mental health, substance use, primary care, education training, employment training, housing, and other community and social services. YWHO Chatham-Kent will also include peer services, outreach, and system navigation services. Integral to the YWHO model of youth care is a commitment to youth and family engagement, and their involvement in key decisions – from planning to implementation and program evaluation.
The Chatham-Kent YWHO Youth Advisory Council has been involved in the transition and are supportive of the name change. “The Youth Advisory Council has played an active role in the development of the rebrand. YWHO shares a lot of the goals of ACCESS Open Minds, so the transition has felt like a very positive and exciting step forward,” shared Emily Saunders, Youth Advisory Council member, “I really like how the focus of YWHO is right in the name. Promoting wellness for youth in the community.”
According to Maria Papadimitriou, Directory of Strategy and Transformation, YWHO, “Provincially, the renaming of the Chatham-Kent site will support the establishment of a network of YWHO sites across the province, enabling young people in any community to look up their local YWHO and know that they will be able to access the care they need when they need it. This is a very positive development for both the community of Chatham-Kent and the province of Ontario.”
The YWHO Chatham-Kent site is located at 140 King Street West, Chatham, ON, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.
Director, Fund Development and Communications
CMHA Lambton Kent
519-337-5411 ext. 3230