Intensive Treatment Support Program Update
Our ITSP Team is Continuing to Support Youville Clients and Providing Opportunities for Virtual Youth Engagement to Lift Spirits Up During Our Closure:
Intensive Treatment Support Case Coordinators have been working endlessly with multiple community partners and volunteers to support clients throughout COVID-19. These agencies include but are not limited to; Ottawa Food Bank, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Dr. Oliver at University of Ottawa Health Clinic, Housing Registry, and many others!
ITSP holds weekly virtual meetings with our Academic team in addition to virtual meetings with clients using our Collaborative Solving Model to try and help clients with obstacles that they are facing academically. We refer clients who are struggling with their mental health to our Therapists and Parent Child Therapists for additional support. Although we can’t be physically there for our clients we are virtually there to help them in whatever way that we can!
Weekly and Bi-weekly Support
The Intensive Treatment Support team is continuing to provide support to all clients and their children on a weekly or bi-weekly basis through virtual contact. Our team is in constant communication with clients to help guide through every day emotional, behavioral, social, educational and financial concerns and even more so during this stressful time!
New Treatment Goal
Throughout the closure clients have been working towards a new goal that focuses on adjusting to the current climate. This goal encompasses different areas of their life that have been altered due to self-isolation. It includes adaptation to life changes, building resilience, problem solving as a parent, coping and enjoying during pregnancy and educational attainment.
The mental health and well-being of our clients is always of utmost importance to our team. We have continued to provide individual and/or crisis counselling and therapeutic support remotely. Our clinical team has reached out to all clients to offer counselling sessions by phone or email and we are exploring other virtual communication to best meet our client needs while making every effort to protect their confidentiality. Clients need our support more than ever to navigate through this uncertain time!
Parent Child Therapy
The clients have the opportunity to connect with the Parent Child Therapist on a regular basis for ongoing support throughout our closure by phone or email sessions. There have been many new challenges faced by both our mothers and their children as they adjust to the change in their day-to-day routines. The Parent Child Therapist is available to answer any questions relating parenting struggles and to provide any resources they might need.
Parenting Stress Virtual Group
The Parent Child Therapist is now offering a weekly Virtual Parenting Group on a variety of different topics based on client needs. As the age range is from infants to toddlers a number of infant mental health topics are covered including dealing with challenging behaviours, positive discipline, and battling boredom. It is a great way for our clients to connect with their peers in a supportive and understanding environment to learn new strategies to decrease their stress.
Life Stress Virtual Group
Due to the global pandemic and related increase in stress and anxiety, we have developed the Life Stress Virtual Group. This weekly group’s variety of topics include coping with the impact of isolation, managing emotional stress and fear. This safe, virtual space affords clients many opportunities to listen, share, and support each other towards the development of strong, positive coping strategies and problem solving techniques for life’s stresses.
Fun and Games Virtual Group
Creativity Café is a weekly program offered at the Centre that gives the clients an opportunity to practice self-care using creative outlets such as art and cooking, and to build peer relationships. It’s name has changed, but it continues to be focused on self-care and fun interactive virtual activities to promote youth engagement to help lessen the feelings of social isolation.
Since our closure, we have developed sections on the new Student WIKI, a staff-supported website for our wonderful clients to easily access reputable websites for pandemic/COVID-19 updates, mental health and substance use resources, crisis supports, prenatal/postpartum support, parenting and more! Clients can also find information to support academic engagement online, virtual group content, as well as child development program schedules all in one place!
SOS Virtual Meetings
Sources of Strength is a strength based mental health wellness project that utilizes the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms. At Youville Centre Peer Leaders function as pillars of hope and plan events with the assistance of Adult Leaders. Sources of Strength is now having virtual meetings to brainstorm new virtual events to give clients the opportunity to stay connected with the Youville Centre community.
Sources of Strength Peer Leaders and Adult Advisors organized the first official Youville Centre virtual event in celebration of Easter! Each client was invited to join the virtual event and participate in a variety of fun and engaging Easter themed activities. Many of the babies got to join in and enjoyed waving to their friends, teachers and our team during the event too! All clients were also mailed a gift card for Easter to help them during this difficult time.
Mental Health Week
Promoting positive mental health is an important mission for the Sources of Strength team! Mental Health Week events have been planned daily May 4 – May 7. There are a variety of unique and fun opportunities for clients and staff to participate including: daily drop-in virtual video events including quizzes, games, daily challenges, and mental health focused themes. Photos from mental health week will be posted to our website including a Youville Spirit Day celebrating positive mental health and self-care practices for mind, body and soul!
Mothers Day Event
Mother’s Day is a big event here at Youville Centre! Although things look a little different this year, we still want to take the time to celebrate our wonderful young mothers and their children. We will be hosting a “Mom & Me” virtual circle time with each of our childcare rooms followed by a virtual event with fun activities for our mom’s. Our ITSP team will personally be delivering flowers, treats, diapers and gift cards to each of our fabulous young mothers on Mother’s Day!
Jennifer Hubbard, a Lunch & Learn speaker, along with her daughter, teamed up with our team to make it possible for our young mothers and their children to receive a take out food order the last weekend in March! A client is pictured below with a home cooked meal, safely delivered and made possible by another supporter of Youville; thanks to Case Coordinators and Curtis for making this possible to many of our clients!