kidsLINK embraces new approach to child and youth mental health
By: Kristian Partington
By the end of 2012, every program helping every child at kidsLINK will be based on Integrative Medicine as the foundation of true wellness in body, mind and spirit.
Using any and all effective means from multiple disciplines and wellness traditions, clients will be in charge of their care under the guidance of professionals who will enable, rather than direct interventions, says kidsLINK CEO, Sonia Pouyat.
A cornerstone of this philosophy is the idea that one must plan for wellness, which will carry on well into the future, creating a preventative benefit which will guide a young person as they grow.
“In partnership with the client, our practitioners will create a holistic wellness plan that is individualized, proactive and ongoing for achieving wellness in body, mind and spirit – something the client will take away and continue after kidsLINK service ends,” Sonia says.
“This plan may include conventional medicine and therapies and complementary methods.”
It’s much more than simply eliminating symptoms under the scope of the traditional medical care model; it’s about getting to the root of the symptoms to begin the process of healing there.
“Our interventions will focus on listening to and respecting the presenting concerns and helping clients identify and get what their bodies, minds and spirits need to heal the source of the symptoms,” says Sonia.
“We have to achieve a workplace that is infused with a sense of peace, relaxation, happiness, confidence, openness, forgiveness – a healing and learning environment,” says Sonia.
This shift in our philosophical approach will be an ongoing journey of discovery as old approaches and attitude give way to the new, integrative health care model, says kidsLINK’s Director of Children’s Mental Health Services, Barb Ward.
She’s confident, however, that the outcomes will be worth every ounce of effort.
Without a hint of hesitation, Barb says this philosophy has the ability to “change the world,” with each child that embraces wellness, builds resilience and is able to heal from the trauma they’ve experienced in life.Her greatest hope is that the child and youth mental health system will be influenced by this integrative approach, “so, not only are we helping the current kids and families, but that it will have a ripple effect across the system, and that other people, because of this, are helping kids and families in the same way,” she adds.“We’re going to hit a few brick walls and we’re going to offend a few people and some of their training and governing bodies, because it does go against (traditional viewpoints), but all you’ve got to do is start looking at some health care statistics and relevant research and you’re going to see that the health care system is in crisis,” Barb says.
If you have a story to share about kidsLINK and its approach to wellness, resilience and healing from trauma, please contact 800-294-0051, ext. 24m, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.