Partnership with Compass Community Services to Support Mental Health Programs for LGBTQ+ Youth
March 21, 2022
The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington recognizes that the overall health and well-being of children and youth must include equitable access to intersectional mental health services. To ensure that all children, youth, and families have access to these services, the Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with Compass Community Services which will help to bridge the financial gap.
The Foundation serves children and youth that may have been impacted directly or indirectly by anxiety, depression, addiction, loss, trauma, and other mental health challenges; and understands that access to therapy and other mental health services can be challenging for those living in poverty. According to Stats Canada, almost one-third of LGBTQ2+ individuals are under 25 years old and are 61% more likely to be diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder, compared to their cisgender counterparts. Often, stigma, harassment, and financial barriers are common factors in children and youth not getting the help they need. With that gap in mind, the Foundation is proud to work in partnership with Compass Community Services and their LGBTQ+ Support Line, which can be accessed by children, youth, and families in Guelph and Wellington County.
“At the Children’s Foundation, our mission has always been to nurture healthy childhood development; and while our programs have always indirectly supported the mental well-being of children and youth, we understand that now, more than ever, children need more direct and individualized supports that they can access with as few barriers as possible,” says Megan Harron, Program Manager of the Free to Grow Program. “Having access to safe, confidential, affirming services is mental health care and suicide prevention for LGTBQ+ children and youth, and it cannot wait, which is why this partnership is both timely and valuable.”
The Foundation is pleased to support the work of Compass Community Services, an integral, local organization that provides affordable and cost-effective support services to a growing number of individuals, families, and children. Compass helps people dealing with trauma, grief, stress, anxiety, depression, and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as people with developmental challenges and those who care for them. The agency also provides same day mental-health clinics in Guelph, Fergus, and Mount Forest, and runs TeleConnect and Distress Line services in addition to its LGBTQ+ support line.
"Our agency is thankful for this partnership with the Children’s Foundation, as it will help ensure the sustainability of the LGBTQ+ support line. Resources are slim for the community in this regard, and our collaboration harnesses the power of community partnerships,” says Executive Director, Joanne Young Evans. “Compass has the service, and the Children’s Foundation has the fundraising expertise and ability to connect with families in need to promote the services available. This is what Guelph-Wellington is known for – incredible community partnerships.”
“Collaborative community partnerships are a step in the right direction, as we build on our program supports for folks who are often excluded in our community,” says Emma Rogers, CEO. “We are so thankful for Compass Community Services, and their wonderful team for driving this initiative forward to address the gaps for LGBTQ+ children and youth living in Guelph and Wellington”.
To learn more about the Children’s Foundation’s mental health supports you can visit https://www.childrensfoundation.org/what-we-do/free-to-grow