Dr. Kate Evans, medical director of the youth clinic; Shawna Walker, executive director of Peninsula Medical; and Dr. Lori Vogt, a child and youth psychiatrist, who all helped set up the clinic. (Hugo Wong)

Peninsula youth clinic experiencing growing demand

Clinic seeing rising mental and cyber-health referrals

In its two years of operation, The Saanich Peninsula Youth Health Clinic has provided services for about 277 young people between the ages of 12 and 24. Of that number, 45 patients have been referred for further psychological care and 73 have been seen by the on-site mental health counsellor.

Dr Kate Evans, the clinic’s medical director, says she is passionate about a group she feels is sometimes forgotten.

“Sidney and the Peninsula have a good reputation for caring for seniors, but the youth are a group that has been neglected,” she said.

RELATED: Peninsula youth clinic re-opens in a new location

The clinic offers a wide range of services that cater to physical, mental and sexual health. Mental health is a growing issue and Evans estimates that one-third of all visits are due to mental health inquiries.

The clinic has access to intake workers and there is a rotating cast of doctors who provide health care. Jen Harrison runs a team of youth workers and Janice Henry advises on First Nations’ issues.

Making use of links with other health care services is something the clinic seek to make the most of. The Foundry, a health care group in Victoria, provides an LGBTQ worker who sees patients one-on-one.

While the clinic has become firmly established in the community, funding remains a central concern and the clinic shut down for three months last year when funds dried up.

The team of eight doctors are dedicated and flexible with their schedules, but as they are paid market rates and as the clinic is free, the organization relies on regular funding from charitable donations.

Advice and financial support are given by the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (SPHHF), who are in regular contact with Dr. Evans and her team.

The community has responded positively too, with many groups raising funds, such as the Rotary Club and a ‘battle of the bands’ event at a local high school. Thrifty Foods also immediately contributed $500 and continue to provide food.

ALSO READ: Youth clinic in Sidney extended into the summer

As the clinic becomes more established and visits from patients grow, so does the scope of their remit, with issues such as cyber-mental health (issues relating to the use of the internet) now a growing demand.

Perhaps one of the clinic’s most important ancillary affects is that it is empowering a new generation of students to think about social care. In their spare time, a team of youth volunteers, many from Parkland School, support their peers who attend the clinic.

Evans says that her ambition is to make the organization ‘sustainable’ and to continue to serve young people.

“They are special. They are so empathetic and will drive the country and economy when we’re older. We need to help them.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read