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The Grove offers mental health services for youth experiencing difficulties amid pandemic


The demand for youth mental health services has increased by 40 per cent in 2021, according to The Grove Wellington Guelph.

The Grove, a partnership with the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association, opened a new facility in August 2021 called the Hub. It is a safe space for youth to connect with friends and mental health support services.

Sixteen-year-old Jade Verge visits the site weekly. She said it has helped her through some tough times. Verge lost her father to suicide in 2016 and said she is still trying to process that pain.

“I’m still grieving. I still don’t know all the answers,” Verge said. “I didn’t even cry at the funeral. That’s how bad and traumatic it was, because it was very sudden.”

Jade Verge uses the services at The Grove weekly (Supplied)

Verge now lives with her aunt, Liz Granby, who admitted Verge hasn’t had a traditional upbringing, but said they do what they can to support her.

“She has bipolar I and also has borderline personality disorder and experiences anxiety,” said Granby.

Her family said the pandemic hasn’t helped Verge’s mental health.

“It’s just been quite lonely because sometimes I’m not allowed to go out because of the COVID numbers,” Verge said.

Granby said whenever she goes to the Hub, she often returns in a better spirits.

“There’s games, there’s a gym area and spots to just hang out and chill as Jade would say,” said Granby.

An area for activities at The Grove (Dan Lauckner / CTV Kitchener)

The director at The Grove said parents and guardians play a crucial role in supporting their teens’ mental health and said the work starts at home with keeping an eye out for red flags.

“It's the change in behaviour you need to watch for, and always try to keep those lines in communications opened,” said Cyndy Moffat Forsyth.

The Grove said teenagers often crave a mix of independence and being social. In times of conflict between parents and teens, The Grove suggests a compromise.

“Work with your youth so you are giving them choice but you’re also respecting their independence and they’re respecting your comfort level,” said Moffat Forsyth.

Verge said another outlet that helped her during tough times has been creating art.

“I enjoy drawing. I express a lot of emotions through art,” said Verge.

At each site, youth will be given access to programs and services that provide guidance and support for the future. From education and career support to counselling and peer-to-peer programs, The Grove facilities will provide help and encouragement to every youth in the community.

The Grove has multiple resources available on its website, including:


The need for more mental health services for youth was also a pressing point for Kitchener Centre MP Mike Morrice at the House of Commons, who told the Prime Minister there are nearly 200 on the waiting list to access the local CMHA.

"Now they have 190 on the waiting list, the fact is mental health is health, as called for by the Canadian Alliance on mental health, and mental illness, and others," said Morrice. "Will the PM prioritize funding and legislation to ensure every Canadian has timely access to inclusive and accessible mental health?"

In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated a new commitment the federal government is trying to accomplish to address the issues.

"I can't agree enough with the member for Kitchener Centre, mental health is health," said Trudeau. "We must ensure it's a full and equal part of our universal health care system. It's why we're committing to establishing the Canada Mental Health Transfer to expand the delivery of high quality, free mental health services." Top Stories

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