New youth mental health and wellness centre opens in Palmerston

A new youth mental health and wellness centre is celebrating its official opening today in Palmerston.

The Grove Hub, formerly the Integrated Youth Services Network, has opened a location across from Norwell District Secondary School. Melanie Therrien is the Youth and Wellness Coordinator there, and she says they’ve been open to some students since June, providing a relaxing environment for youth aged 12 to 26 to hang out and decompress.

“But also we’re here to provide mental health services. We have mental health counselling, we have addictions services, we work with Second Chance for job development and resume help and interview help. We’re also looking to get in a women in crisis for healthy relationships counsellor.”

The Grove has free wifi and electronics for students and youth to utilize. Therrien notes that youth mental health has been a growing issues, especially in rural areas where resources aren’t always there.

“We realize it’s a huge barrier for service, being out in the rural areas sometimes. So we’re hoping to kind of help with that barrier and get all the services to come to the hub so that youth don’t have to go out of their way to get these services that they need.”

Youth mental health was a serious issue pre-pandemic, with the Grove’s press release stating that 1 in 5 youth were struggling with mental health. With all the challenges and changes the pandemic has forced onto the lives of youth, that number has jumped to 4 of 5. Therrien says they’re already seeing that at the Grove.

“We’re seeing a huge need for services and we just want to at least eliminate the barrier of travel and finding the support. We have an employee here that will help youth find all the services they need and connect them and bring them here to us.”

Therrien says they will then walk any youth through the process of getting the help they need no matter what that might be. The Grove is open to all youth aged 12 to 26, and they open at 11 am, with varying closing times based on their schedules, which can be found on their social media pages. Currently there’s a cap of 20 occupants excluding staff. Therrien also notes they do accept volunteers.

“We have started Minto’s Youth Action Council up again, so youth have volunteered to be on that to help us figure out exactly what youth are needing. But we also have volunteers of any age helping out.”

Interested volunteers simply need to go to the Grove website, there’s a volunteer link with a short form to fill out. The Grove has open locations in Palmerston, Fergus, Erin and the University of Guelph, as well as 3 other Guelph locations. You can learn more about the Grove or volunteer here:

The front entrance to The Grove youth wellness hub, right across from Norwell District Secondary School in Palmerston. (Photo by Ryan Drury)

Read original story from Midwestern Ontario News –

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