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The Summit will help break down accessibility barriers within youth mental health services

By Julieanne Acosta, April 10 2023

Calgary opened its first-ever centre in March fully dedicated to child and adolescent mental health called the Summit: Marian & Jim Sinneave Centre for Youth Resilience. 

With the rise of mental health issues for children and youth, Dr. John Cowell, official administrator with Alberta Health Services (AHS), notes how necessary this facility is. 

“What this centre is about is helping our youth that are seeing their life choices in a dark way, come here and be guided toward the light of life and safety,” said Cowell at the pre-opening ceremony of the facility. 

The Summit will provide mental health services to Albertans under the age of 18 which will include no-cost therapy sessions where referalls will not be needed. Together with AHS and the University of Calgary, the Summit will also focus on research opportunities and has the capacity to serve up to 8,000 youth and their family. 

“In partnership with AHS and the University of Calgary, it will be one of the most research-intensive community-based mental health facilities for young people in Canada,” read a provincial news release

The facility will provide not only no-cost walk-in therapy sessions but will also have services to address escalating symptoms to help keep youth out of acute care and a day hospital to aid transitioning patients out of a round-the-clock care. 

In a statement, U of C president and vice-chancellor Ed McCauley notes how the Summit will break down barriers of accessibility for youth facing mental health challenges. 

“The Summit will incorporate accessible mental health care with leading-edge research, so we can mobilize academic insights into the best possible clinical care for children and youth,” said McCauley.

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