In spring 2019, the Centre de santé Saint-Boniface (CSSB) launched a youth-services pilot project at Collège Louis-Riel. Linh Tran, the CSSB’s communications coordinator, explains. “It’s a project that we’d been thinking about for a long time, to make young people aware of the health services available to them. Collège Louis-Riel, in the heart of St. Boniface, was chosen to pilot the idea.”
Every Monday afternoon in May and June, a team of health professionals was on site at Collège Louis-Riel to provide services to young people.
Tran explains. “The sessions were open to all students. Each week, a nurse and a mental health counsellor were on hand.” The two were accompanied by a third worker, who changed each week according to the theme being addressed.
For example, mental health was the focus of week one. Tran explains. “It is one of the themes most requested by young people. Some 25 students attended that particular session.”
While each two-hour session began with a short presentation by health professionals on the theme, “we wanted the sessions to be informal, guided by the questions young people were asking themselves.”
Since the pilot project’s objective was to enable everyone to feel confident and safe when it comes to their health, the CSSB also left informative posters and leaflets.
Tran: “We also had access to a small room so that we could talk privately with the students who wanted to.”
The pilot was a success. The CSSB hopes to extend it to other schools in 2019-2020. “We also plan to change the format so that we can offer the workshop in the fall and throughout the year,” says Tran.