Maltby Centre discusses mental health service access for university students in Kingston

Maltby Centre encourages students to attend panel discussion on May 2

The Maltby Centre serves the Kingston community as a source of mental health support.

This article discusses mental illness and suicide and may be triggering for some readers. The Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-875-6213.

The Family Advisory Committee at the Maltby Centre is holding a free panel discussion to review and answer questions about mental health services available for families and youth in the Kingston region.

The discussion is scheduled for May 2 as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC) reported that mental illness affects 1.2 million children and youth in Canada. According to the report, less than 20 per cent of those individuals will receive the required treatment.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth aged 15 to 24, according to the report.

“It’s important to talk about mental health every day, but this week gives us a chance to highlight and really focus on it,” said Cailin Scott, Maltby Centre Manager—of quality improvement, accreditation, and privacy—in an interview with The Journal.

The Maltby Centre works with Queen’s University’s Psychiatry department on research projects with children, youth, and their families.

The centre has a Youth Advisory Committee, which meets bi-weekly and assesses different policies and aspects, such as ensuring the waiting room environment is “youth-friendly.”

Scott clarified that the centre’s funding through the Ministry of Health covers children ages zero to 18. For 18 to 24-year-olds, Scott said the centre offers a single-session service for those looking for one-on-one mental health support.

“We are looking at ways [to] broaden services to make it more robust than a single session. Right now, that is what we can offer for Queen’s students, and that’s a newer program in our region, so we are excited to expand to that age group,” Scott said.

According to Scott, the pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis, reinforcing the need for Children’s Mental Health Week initiatives.

“At Maltby Centre, we always do what we can to make sure families get service in a timely way, but we are feeling an increase in demand and increase in referrals,” Scott said.  

Despite an increase in demand for services, Scott said the Maltby Centre is looking to branch out and offer more services to university-age students.

Scott acknowledged the challenges that transitioning to university poses to students’ mental health—access to resources.

“Sometimes those [resources] have long waitlists or there are not enough services […] which is why we have the single session model and are always looking for ways that we can expand further,” Scott said.

Registration for the session is linked to Maltby’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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