Released on November 20, 2023
The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $1.7 million in new annual funding to Family Service Saskatchewan to expand its free, rapid access counselling services to children, youth and their caregivers across the province. Kindersley, Leader, Unity, Rosetown and Biggar are the newest communities to launch these services.
Young people can access support for challenges ranging from stress and depression to family conflict, addictions and domestic violence.
"Expanding free rapid access counselling services to children and youth is key to addressing the mental health issues that many youth are dealing with today," Kindersley MLA Ken Francis said on behalf of Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod. "Being able to connect young people to timely, accessible counselling services is crucial for improving their wellbeing."
Children and youth will be connected to any ongoing supports they may need.
West Central Crisis and Family Support Centre is delivering rapid access counselling in Kindersley, Leader, Unity, Rosetown and Biggar, on behalf of Family Service Saskatchewan.
"Our agency is excited to bring rapid access counselling for children and youth to west-central Saskatchewan communities," West Central Crisis and Family Support Centre Executive Director Michelle Weber said. "Many of our children and youth are trying to navigate challenging needs and requesting supports. Our team is encouraged to offer this rapid, person-centered programming that helps our children, youth and their families to thrive and heal."
In total this year, the province is providing Family Service Saskatchewan with $3.2 million in annual funding: $1.7 million in new funding for expanding rapid access counselling services to children and youth, and $1.5 million to provide ongoing services to adults and families.
Please check www.counsellingconnectsask.ca to find services near you, or book a virtual session through the website.
Since May, counselling services for children and youth have launched in Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, Estevan, Carlyle, Oxbow, North Battleford, Yorkton, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Humboldt. Additional communities will be announced in the coming weeks.
Under the province's new Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions, rapid access counselling for children and youth will expand to all 24 locations of Family Service Saskatchewan where these services are currently available for adults.
The Ministry of Health is investing a record-high total of $518 million for mental health and addictions services in 2023-24. The new Action Plan is supported by funding that will total $49.4 million when fully implemented in the fifth year of the plan.
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