Believing a local wellness centre for youth should be modelled after others in the province, but tailored to meet partner organizations and individuals, the group hired Jerre Paquette MA, PhD. (Education) to interview LAT partner organizations and individuals in order to gauge buy-in for the proposed wellness centre.

In his report presented to the Local Action Team on May 17, 2017, Paquette noted just over half (seven) of the interviewees were enthusiastic, six were supportive and only two were hesitant.

Paquette also provided three recommendations: Set aside sufficient time and resources for a collaborative, consensus-achieving facilitation workshop to develop a Statement of Vision, Statement of Mission, Strategic Plan and Action Plan; Invite chiefs from neighbouring First Nations bands to participate and involve youths early in the process.

A sub-committee comprised of several enthusiastic members of the Shuswap Local Action Team and other partners moved the vision along at a workshop in the summer of 2017.

Under the guidance of Dorothy Argent and Dr. Neils Christiansen of Aloka Consulting and Training, team members created tasks and timelines in order to guide the process in a collaborative approach that obtained the wisdom of all the partners and created a sense of ownership for everyone involved.

“This a legacy project that came out of the Child Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative,” says Kriese of the idea to provide wrap-around care services that include medical access, counselling support for students and parents and education – all in one location within the school. “When we proposed it, professionals responded with a resounding yes and less than two years later we were able to open.”

Students, success and sustainability will continue to be nurtured at the SAS Wellness Centre. And, with the knowledge gained through the establishment of the centre, the partners’ newest vision is to see similar wellness centres located in schools in Sicamous and Enderby.

While School District #83 has provided space, further discussions will need to be held around finding sustainable funding for the SAS centre and any future wellness centres.

In the summer of 2017, several members of the CYMHSU’s Shuswap Local Action Team took the vision of a team-based wellness centre to support and empower youth through a school-based wellness centre, to a workshop facilitated by Dorothy Argent and Dr. Neils Christiansen of Aloka Consulting and Training.

Tasks and timelines were set in order to guide the process and, with funding from the Division of Family Practice, research and strategic planning were able to move forward.

“This a legacy project that came out of the Child Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative,” says Kriese of the idea to provide wrap-around care services that include medical access, counselling support for students and parents and education – all in one location within the school. “When we proposed it, professionals responded with a resounding yes and less than two years later we were able to open.”