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What is the MyPlace Project?

MyPlace is a school based mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention program for middle years' students in the Medicine Hat Public School District. In more simple terms, the MyPlace project helps students who require additional support as they move through grades 6, 7 and 8.

What areas can MyPlace provide help with?

MyPlace can help with:

Sorting things out and getting along at home.
Fitting in with peers and avoiding bullying.
Coming to school regularly.
Sorting things out and getting along with teachers.
Alcohol or drug related issues.
Keeping your body healthy.
Managing stress and anxiety.
Understanding or addressing cutting and self-harm related behaviour.
Getting help with an abusive situation.
Understanding or addressing legal issues. (Court/probation).
Having a safe and secure place to live.
Having food and clean, seasonally appropriate clothing.

Who makes up the MyPlace project team?

The MyPlace project team brings together professionals from different agencies so that students can receive the support they need. We are always adding new members to the team, but we currently have:

two success coaches from McMan Family, Community and Youth services.
a mental health consultant from Community Mental Health Services.
an addictions counsellor from AADAC.
a school counsellor at each school.
a criminal justice liaison worker.
a facilitator from Medicine Hat School District #76.

What do success coaches do?

MyPlace success coaches can work with students on a one to one basis or in small groups. Success coaches help students set out and reach their goals by planning and giving students information in areas such as getting along with others, stress management, problem solving and effective time management. Success coaches plan a wide variety of activities to help students connect, feel welcome and develop positive relationships.

How does the school, as a whole, benefit from MyPlace?

The MyPlace program offers mental health information to all students in the school through classroom presentations and school wide activities. The MyPlace program also offers mental health information sessions to parents, teachers and community partners who play an important role in supporting youth.

What is goal or vision of the MyPlace project?

The MyPlace program coordinates and brings youth service agencies into the school to establish a mental health safety net for all middle years students. On site support is offered in an inclusive and youth friendly manner that fosters a supportive environment and promotes individual resiliency.

Why is it called MyPlace?

MyPlace is an acronym for and quot;Middle Years, Professional Helpers, Learning Communities and Community Parters...Early Mental Health Promotion and quot;. It sounds a little like MySpace and we wanted to catch the attention of today's youth who are drawn to technology and the internet. We also plan to use the internet to reach students and provide them with valuable information about mental health.

What role does the Mental Health Consultant play within the project?

Mental Health Services have been in place in the school system through the Student Health Partnership for over 10 years. As part of this partnership a mental health consultant was assigned to every school within Medicine Hat School District #76.

When the Mental Health Capacity Building Projects were initiated throughout the province, MHSD#76 chose to increase the amount of time their mental health consultant was available to the middle years students. The grade seven and eight students at CHHS, as well as all of the students at AMS now have access to mental health services two full days a week at each school.

The following services are provided by school's mental health consultant:

Assessment of a student's possible risk to self or others.
Individual and family counselling.
Collaboration with administration and teachers in order to support a sensitivity to a student's mental health issues and needs.
Coordination of referrals to additional services and outside agencies such as McMan, Bridges, AADAC, Child & Family Services, etc.
Referral and collaboration with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist- Dr.Abaya.
Assisting staff and students in dealing with crisis situations including death, suicide, etc.
Referral and collaboration with the PAS team to provide treatment and continuation of services after student returns to school following the six week PAS program.
Referral to the Medicine Hat Youth Action Society/Center for youth work and social skill development.

What additional services are available through Community Mental Health?

The school's mental health consultant is connected to the larger mental health services clinic located in the Provincial Building. This clinic offers additional services including:

Family therapy.
Parenting courses - Parenting with Love and Logic.
Management of the youth crisis bed.
In-clinic counselling for those not wanting to be seen in school.
Mental health services specifically designed for high risk youth who attend alternative school programs and/or have criminal involvement.
Youth anger management groups.
Youth self-esteem groups.
Walk-in services.
Access to the Mobile Response Team who can perform suicide assessment and can facilitate placement in the crisis bed or hospital.
Access to the PAS Program,an intensive, short-term program that offers professional mental health and academic assistance and assessment in a supportive environment. PAS provides an on-site school, as well as individual, family and group therapy.

Besides MyPlace is there anyway that I can access mental health services?

Mental Health Services are available at the Community Mental Health Services Clinic:

403-529-3500
2-346 3rd ST. S.E., Medicine Hat, Alberta

Walk-in services are available Monday to Thursday 8:00-7:15 p.m. or Friday 8:00-4:30 p.m.

In case of a mental health emergency call The Mobile Response Team: (403) 529-3500 during work hours and Health Link Alberta 1-866-408-5465 after hours.

 


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