Donation helps WES for Youth Online

·2 min read

WALKERTON – A cheque for $1,360.90 from Walkerton and District Right to Life will help WES for Youth Online at a time when assistance is urgently needed.

Emma Martin, community relations director with WES for Youth Online, said the donation will pay for eight hours of online counselling.

The COVID-19 has not been easy for young people. Over the past year, online counsellors have been working with youth to identify and deal with stress.

Through counselling sessions, young people are assisted in reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression due to COVID-19 and associated losses.

Counselling helps improve their mood and outlook for the future.

In addition, the counsellors provide education and practical strategies to help young people cope with grief and anger from losses sustained during the pandemic and beyond. They help develop conflict resolution skills for managing relationships at home with parents and siblings, and provide emotional support for the continued development of healthy self-esteem and future goal orientation, said Martin.

Jean Hedley of Walkerton and District Right to Life said the funds donated last week were raised in an online auction held from June 28 to Feb. 10 through

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WES for Youth provides an online space for youth that is inclusive, comfortable and familiar to be able to talk about what they are facing today.

It’s estimated one in five children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mental health challenge. According to the WES for Youth website, over the last 10 years there has been a 72 per cent increase in emergency department visits, and a 79 per cent increase in hospitalization for children and youth seeking treatment for mental health issues in Ontario. More than 28,000 children and youth are waiting longer than 18 months for mental health treatment.

WES for Youth knows kids can’t wait.

Counselling for youth ages 13-24 is provided free, through the generosity of donors, community and corporate partners.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times