Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) LaunchPad has invited Skylark Children, Youth & Families — based on our 15 years of pioneering expertise operating youth mental health walk-in clinics in Toronto — to provide mental health services in the hub of LaunchPad, a vibrant new facility, located at 259 Jarvis Street in Toronto’s urban centre of Moss Park.
MLSE LaunchPad was conceived by MLSE Foundation in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation and the City of Toronto. It is a 42,000-square foot Sport For Development centre with a bold vision to connect physical and mental health while reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues.
This represents a major opportunity for game-changing innovations in youth mental health: easily accessible services that not only engage and empower young people but also support their families, strengthening the potential of our next generation.
- Children are most at risk in low-income Toronto neighbourhoods; many have a poverty rate of more than 50%
- Regent Park’s child poverty rate (58%) is the highest in Toronto
- 4,000 young Canadians take their own lives each year
- Mental health is the top reason for hospitalization for male youth in Toronto and the second most common reason (after pregnancy) for females aged 15 to 19 years
With a vision to welcome youth from some of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods to a state-of-the-art, barrier-free recreational facility, MLSE LaunchPad comprises a multi-purpose gymnasium, a rock wall, classrooms and a teaching kitchen. The design of this youth-friendly environment will foster teamwork and healthy lifestyles for children and youth aged 6 to 29 years. Opened in February 2017, MLSE LaunchPad’s overarching goal is to be a place where youth facing barriers use sport to recognize and reach their potential.
Skylark’s highly trained youth and family mental health counsellors based at MLSE LaunchPad, will offer barrier-free access to mental health services to these underserved communities, where social justice issues (such as poverty and racism) heavily impact the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their families.
Fast, free, easy, onsite access to mental health counselling will advance MLSE LaunchPad’s objective of “healthy body, healthy mind, ready for school, ready for work”. Skylark’s onsite service will ensure that MLSE LaunchPad staff have the resources at their fingertips for immediate support or intervention. Custom tailored to serve the specific needs of children, young people and families living within extremely marginalized urban neighbourhoods, Skylark’s mental health service can be a literal life saver!
Watch our video below to learn more about Skylark at MLSE LaunchPad
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