Moncton’s free youth counseling agency raises $1.4M to expand services – New Brunswick

Atlantic Wellness, an organization that offers free mental health counseling to young people aged 12 to 21, is seeking to raise $1.4 million from the public to move to a larger location and provide services to Francophones.

It has already raised $2.1 million of the $3.5 million it needs to expand through a combination of government funding and private sponsorship.

Steve Mitton, who is chairman of the organization’s board of directors, said in an interview on Wednesday that a job offer had already been posted for one of the French-speaking advisers they want to hire.

“We are looking for (a place) that has ten to twelve office spaces, and a large room because we also do group therapy. Parking spaces where parents can park, ideally,” he said.

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Donations can be made through the organization’s website until September 16.

Kane Melanson said the service saved his son’s life after he was released from the psychiatric ward at The Moncton Hospital.

“This was a critical time in our son’s life, where he needed prompt follow-up and ongoing mental health support, but our public health system was unable to accommodate him. provide after release,” he said Wednesday.

He said sending his son to see counselors in the private sector was not sustainable for his family’s budget.

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“We did private consultations, depending on who we were seeing at the time, the average would have been around $200 an hour. So during times of crisis there were two challenges. First, it was not easily accessible in a timely manner and second, it was not sustainable on an ongoing basis,” he said.

Maxie Rose, who works as an outreach counseling therapist for Atlantic Wellness, said she has seen firsthand the impact of regular counseling on young people.

“I still have a few clients I started my internship with over a year ago, I’ve seen them through and through so far. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the young people, especially my youngest who are 12 and 13. They have made great strides in life and I am very proud of them,” they said.

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Virginia S. Braud