Strongest Families coaches over smartphones

Penticton Rotary continuing mental wellness work with youth

Penticton Rotary is now in the fourth year of their youth mental wellness initiative, and later this month, they’re introducing a new way of looking at helping youth dealing with anxiety and other challenges.

“We kind of take the long game. We are looking for things that make a difference over the long term,” said Brian Hughes.

Later this month, the club is bringing Dr. Patricia Pottie to Penticton to talk about Strongest Families, a program developed by Dr. Patrick McGrath of Dalhousie University, over a 20-year period of investigating effective ways to treat mental illness in youth.

“Strongest Families is intriguing because, once again, you’re giving them (youth) skills to deal with anxiety and some of the challenges that a lot of them are facing at school. Rather than a therapy session or something like that, this program is a weekly program,” said Hughes. “The kids are calling in when it is convenient for them, and there is a coach on the other end that knows their file and works through it with them.”

To make the program accessible and increase acceptance, McGrath based it around smartphone, making it convenient for youth to connect in the privacy of their own homes.

Hughes said the work done with youth is incremental, each week building on the last, helping to gradually “reprogram,” or modify the way the brain approaches issues over a long period of time.

Rotary Youth Wellness Initiative is looking to test Strongest Families in the South Okanagan to observe its effectiveness with youth suffering with anxiety or anxiety disorder, which they note seems to be a prevalent problem as youth grapple with social media and other challenges.

The goal, according to Rotary, is that youth suffering from anxiety or anxiety disorder will be enrolled in the 14-week program and interested organizations and ministries can study its effectiveness, with the potential for offering it to a broader population if it proves out.

Hughes also said there is a potential for working with the YES project and their new youth centre.

“Perhaps the kids that have been through this program could have a support group and they could continue to meet after the 13 weeks are up and they could continue to support each other,” said Hughes.

The public talk on Strongest Families with Dr. Pottie takes place at 2 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the Shatford Centre. To book seating or for more information, call Hughes at 250-460-1731.

Just Posted

Mt. Conkle wildfire near Summerland remains 118 hectares

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access.

Okanagan Wildfires: Monday morning update on wildfires and evacuations

A Monday morning look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Peachland wildfire mapped at over 1,500 hectares

Smoke may increase today around the valley

Okanagan Mountain Park fire remains the same size

Crews built hand guards and continued to extinguish hot spots.

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Man charged in 2006 B.C. murder extradited to Canada from South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Nitty Gritty Dirt band returns to the South Okanagan

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Most Read