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New program to help youth with mental health and addiction issues

There is now more help for local youth dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues in the city. A new program called the Youth Day Program run by Alberta Health services is open to students in grades 7-12 where they will learn how to cope with things going on in their lives.

Child and Youth Addiction and Mental Health Manager Karen DePottie says she is glad to finally have a program like this in the city.

“We’re excited that youth and families can get this treatment closer to home and it allows families to participate more fully as well if it’s right here in their home community.”

AHS has held other workshops and counselling sessions in the past but DePottie says some people needed more support then what they could provide.

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“For some youth that one hour a week talk therapy isn’t enough. It isn’t what they need to help them move forward with their lives so often youth have had to leave Grande Prairie and go to Edmonton into residential treatment centres to get that more intensive treatment.”

Students in the program will complete school work in the morning and have things like group councilling, individual therapy, workshops and family councilling in the afternoon. DePottie says she hopes the program will give students the ability to lead happier lives.

“We want them to be able to succeed in the goals that they set for their lives and have strong relationships, success at school and good health.”

The 8-week program is currently running Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Nordic Court. For more information or to sign up for the program, call AHS at 780-538-5162.

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