Statement: Celebrating the Saanich Peninsula Youth Health Clinic

Mr. Speaker: Member for Saanich North and the Islands. Thank you Mr. Speaker. Today is a good day for youth on the Saanich
Peninsula. I’ve spoke in this House about a pilot project
spearheaded by a local doctor in Sidney to provide a health service specifically for
youth. Recognizing there was no supportive health
clinic for youth on the Saanich peninsula, Dr. Kate Evans started down the path of creating
it. After many meetings with stakeholders and
support from the South Island Division of Family Practice, a pilot project for a clinic
aimed at youth from 12 to 24 was born. Clearly, there was a need in my riding for
an inclusive clinic close to home, open after school and judgment-free. The clinic was only open for two hours once
a week, and doctors would see between four and 16 patients each week. The two-month pilot stayed open for six months. They closed in mid-December of 2017 to examine
the project and apply lessons that they learned. It was not just physical issues. Youth were seeking mental health support for
anxiety, depression, substance abuse, psychotic symptoms, grief and complicated family issues. The doctors built trust with their young patients,
who felt they had someone who they could speak to about any mental health issue that they
were facing. My partner has faced mental health challenges
since her youth, and perhaps the early intervention a clinic like this offers would have helped
her address the trauma she has experienced much earlier in her life. Fast forward to today — literally, today
— I’m delighted to say that they’re opening again. This afternoon, they open in their new space
in the Peninsula Medical Clinic in Sidney, supported by a number of local organizations,
including the town of Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula Primary Health Care Society, and
with significant funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. This is yet another example of government
financially supporting the incredible efforts of community members. I raise my hands to MCFD and the leadership
of those involved in this important project.

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