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Manitoba expands youth mental health services with almost $3 million in funding

Manitoba health minister Cameron Friesen.
Manitoba health minister Cameron Friesen. Marek Tkach / Global News

The Province of Manitoba is working on expanding mental health services for children and youth.

Manitoba’s health, education, and families ministers said Monday the province is pledging nearly $3 million to enhance education programming and integrated youth services.

The funds include $823,000 to the NorWest Youth Hub for mental health and addictions counselling, as well as Indigenous cultural supports, primary health care, and recreation and training opportunities.

READ MORE: There are stark disparities in access to mental health services across Canada

Project 11, which provides mental health awareness lessons and activities, as well as positive coping strategies for kids, will receive $621,000, and a further $1.5 million will go to expand distribution of Thrival Kits to students in Grades 4 through 6, province-wide.

Thrival Kits are in-class resources that include activities in support of kids’ mental health, and can be customized to meet the needs of individual classrooms.

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“These initiatives… will ensure more Manitoba children and youth are given the educational tools and professional services they need to make positive choices in their lives,” said health minister Cameron Friesen.

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“These meaningful programs are the first of more than a dozen initiatives we will be bringing forward over the next three months as part of our government’s continuing efforts to improve mental health and addictions services for all Manitobans.”

According to the province’s most recent report, almost one in four Manitobans over the age of 10 has a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder, and 75 per cent of mental illness onsets happen before the age of 24.

Back to school mental health tips for students
Back to school mental health tips for students