Strongest Families coaches over smartphones

Penticton Rotary continuing mental wellness work with youth

Penticton Rotary is now in the fourth year of their youth mental wellness initiative, and later this month, they’re introducing a new way of looking at helping youth dealing with anxiety and other challenges.

“We kind of take the long game. We are looking for things that make a difference over the long term,” said Brian Hughes.

Later this month, the club is bringing Dr. Patricia Pottie to Penticton to talk about Strongest Families, a program developed by Dr. Patrick McGrath of Dalhousie University, over a 20-year period of investigating effective ways to treat mental illness in youth.

“Strongest Families is intriguing because, once again, you’re giving them (youth) skills to deal with anxiety and some of the challenges that a lot of them are facing at school. Rather than a therapy session or something like that, this program is a weekly program,” said Hughes. “The kids are calling in when it is convenient for them, and there is a coach on the other end that knows their file and works through it with them.”

To make the program accessible and increase acceptance, McGrath based it around smartphone, making it convenient for youth to connect in the privacy of their own homes.

Hughes said the work done with youth is incremental, each week building on the last, helping to gradually “reprogram,” or modify the way the brain approaches issues over a long period of time.

Rotary Youth Wellness Initiative is looking to test Strongest Families in the South Okanagan to observe its effectiveness with youth suffering with anxiety or anxiety disorder, which they note seems to be a prevalent problem as youth grapple with social media and other challenges.

The goal, according to Rotary, is that youth suffering from anxiety or anxiety disorder will be enrolled in the 14-week program and interested organizations and ministries can study its effectiveness, with the potential for offering it to a broader population if it proves out.

Hughes also said there is a potential for working with the YES project and their new youth centre.

“Perhaps the kids that have been through this program could have a support group and they could continue to meet after the 13 weeks are up and they could continue to support each other,” said Hughes.

The public talk on Strongest Families with Dr. Pottie takes place at 2 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the Shatford Centre. To book seating or for more information, call Hughes at 250-460-1731.

Just Posted

Spending Christmas in Norway

Rotary exchange student Lars Silseth discusses the holiday traditions in his country

Powder report: Rain in valley, snow on the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

Busy day for Penticton Search and Rescue

PENSAR was called to three separate incidents Sunday, Dec. 16

RCMP recruits help Cram the Kennel in Penticton

Event held for BCSPCA South Okanagan-Similkameen

‘Tis the season to deck the halls and stock the fridge

Local beverage-makers help bring cheer to holiday gatherings

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm unease about federal deficits: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy

CIBC shrinks event after Whistler mayor irks oil producers

After Whistler sent a letter to a Calgary-based oilsands giant, several energy firms said they would back out of the CIBC event.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Trial rights of accused spy for China at risk, lawyer tells Supreme Court

The lawyer for a man accused of trying to spy for China says federal foot-dragging over secrecy is endangering his client’s right to timely justice.

‘Recall fatigue’: Canadians may avoid certain foods over holidays

In the winter, Canada’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables tends to come from very specific areas.

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Interior Health offers new info tool for pregnant women

Moms-to-be with uncomplicated pregnancies can access tips by text or online

Most Read