Ontario government is all set to open the Youth Wellness Hub in Brampton in 2025

Jun 18, 2024 | Provincial News

Brampton youth are to have easier access to mental health services with a new Youth Wellness Hub opening in the region.

It is one of 10 additions the government is adding to the existing network of 22 hubs, bringing the total number to 32 serving the province, the government announced in a press release June 13.

The hub will help youth aged 12 to 25 and their families more easily connect and access support for issues related to mental health, substance use and primary care services.

“Other services provided through the hub will deliver culturally appropriate care, including vocational support, education, employment, housing, access to community programs and support for children and youth in need of child welfare services while in care or transitioning out of care,” the press release said.

The office of MP Sonia Sidhu in an email response to Humber News said the minister recognizes the importance of mental health and care for youth. The email stessed that the federal government made investments in mental health services in their 2023 and 2024 budgets.

“One of these investments is the $3.1 billion agreement to improve health care in Ontario. Mental health is a central pillar of this important investment, with some funding dedicated to opening more Youth Wellness Hubs across Ontario. The already present hubs have made a great impact on the youth and communities as a whole,” according to her office’s message.

The message also said other investments have also been made into mental health and community resources. “One of these has been the investment into Brampton’s Susan Fennell Sportsplex, which houses the Susan Fennell Youth Hub.”

It serves as safe space for the youth aged 14 to 29 where they can access recreational programming in a community-oriented space.

“This investment has made the building more environmentally friendly while also lowering operating costs and modernizing the space,” the message said.

Mahreen Dasoo, senior communications advisor, Youth Wellness Hub in an email response to Humber News, said the services of the hub are free for everyone.

“It is free. Any youth in Ontario aged 12 to 25 can access the services, and no proof of residency/citizenship is required,” Dasoo said.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is continuing to take action to improve mental health and addictions services in communities across Ontario, and support people and their families living with mental health and substance use challenges,” said Sylvia Jones, deputy premier and minister of health in a press release.

YWHO is a safe space for youth where services are provided by local service providers.

“It is a youth-friendly, welcoming space for youth to access high-quality, developmentally appropriate, equitable care at the right time in the right place,” the YWHO site said.

Ontario created a network of 22 hubs between 2020 and 2023.

This helped 43,000 youth and their families with mental health, substance use and wellness services.

Harsh Malhotra, a 23-year-old Brampton resident, said this is a great initiative as it offers a safe space to talk and share feelings.

“A place like this can help many people, including me, who in times like these go through a lot of mental stress daily due to work and studies. And it can help unburden our stress,” Malhotra said.

The Brampton YWHO’s co-design is led by Peel Children’s Aid Society with the help of youth and community partners from the region, according to the press release.

The design will keep in mind the needs of the diverse communities living in the region. Indigenous, First Nations and Black youth voices and interests will be heard as they will play a crucial role in the hub’s model, according to the press release.

“Peel Children’s Aid Society is leading the co-design of the new hub with youth and community partners across the region, ensuring diverse youth voices and unique needs of Indigenous, First Nations and Black youth are at the centre of the design and planning for the hub model.”