On Jan. 30, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that Moose Jaw will be one of the first four locations chosen to host the new Integrated Youth Services (IYS) hubs in the province.
After a competitive call for proposals, the YMCA of Regina in Moose Jaw will be joined by three other locations in Regina, Humboldt, and Sturgeon Lake First Nation.
“I'm pleased these communities will host Integrated Youth Services sites, making it easier for our young people to get the services they're looking for all in one location,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod said in an official statement.
“This is another step forward in our government's plan to better serve the needs of youth and their families with coordinated access to a variety of supports.”
The IYS program is both a national and international movement that comes as part of a $3.4 million investment in 2023-2024. The program aims to re-imagine how youths between the ages of 12 and 25, along with their caregivers, are able to locate and access the resources, services, and supports they need.
This program is implemented by the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan, a non-profit organization assisting at-risk individuals or those otherwise involved in the criminal justice process. John Howard’s mission is to ensure that “Communities have effective, just, humane practices that support positive social outcomes,” and the organization helps provide consistent implementation of the program.
Services offered by the IYS through the John Howard Society include peer supports for mental health and addictions, physical health resources, education, employment, job training, and more.
In the provincial model for IYS, these young residents will be provided rapid access to youth-targeted supports and the program’s focus is on prevention and early intervention.
These first four sites will be followed by additional locations to be announced in the near future.
“We are excited to see the interest of so many communities throughout our province in hosting an Integrated Youth Services site,” said Pam Reimer, the director of IYS in Saskatchewan.
“We can't wait to get to work with our first four sites to make Integrated Youth Services in Saskatchewan a reality,” she added.
The inter-sectoral IYS initiative is supported by leadership from a number of provincial ministries including the ministries of Health, Education, Social Services, Justice and Attorney General, Corrections, and others.
Work on these first four sites and staff onboarding is currently underway with services expected to begin in 2024-2025. The location of the facility in Moose Jaw has not yet been confirmed.
To learn more about Integrated Youth Services, visit Saskatchewan.ca.
More information about the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan and its programming can be found at Sk.JohnHoward.ca/about.