Nanaimo Youth Wellness Centre. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo Youth Wellness Centre expands in size and scope

Health and wellness centre for youths 25 and under moved to Nanaimo Aquatic Centre this summer

A health and wellness centre can open its doors to more young people at its new, larger location.

The Nanaimo Youth Wellness Centre is now operating out of the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, noted an Island Health press release last week.

The facility, a partnership between the health authority, municipality and school district, offers health – including mental health – services to young people 25 years old and under. It was previously located next door at Nanaimo District Secondary School.

“I’m pleased that the centre’s new location provides better access to health and wellness services for youth in the broader community,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, in the release. “This relocation of the youth wellness centre was made possible thanks to strong partnerships and a desire to enhance well-being and strong foundations for youth in the community.”

According to the release, Island Health public health nurses and an administrative assistant staff the youth wellness centre. Care includes general health and wellness support, STI testing, pregnancy testing, mental health support, immunizations, substance use services and more.

Dr. Sandra Barlow, one of the facility’s doctors, said the Nanaimo Youth Wellness Centre is a great example of positive community partnerships.

“I am happy that it is open to youth across the region as a much-needed resource,” she said. “This is a next step in the evolution of school-based clinics, which have been so successful thanks to the collaboration of our care teams.”

Mayor Leonard Krog said in the release that a rec centre is a fitting location for the “innovative” youth health centre.

“Youth are our future, and helping to look after their health and wellness needs will better our community for decades to come,” he said.

The centre is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Third Street. For information, call or text 250-619-0651.

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