Raising funds for adolescent day treatment program at Surrey Memorial Hospital

New concept of SHF Shirley Dean Pavillion.

THE Surrey Hospitals Foundation is shining a spotlight on the importance of supporting youth mental health in Surrey and the Fraser Valley, by raising funds for the Adolescent Day Treatment Program (ADTP) at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

An estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, yet, less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. By age 25, approximately 20 per cent of Canadians will have developed a mental illness, and 70 per cent of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence.

In BC, an estimated 12.7 per cent of children aged four to 18 years, or nearly 95,000 children, will experience mental disorders causing significant symptoms and impairment at any given time.

“We have been seeing a steady increase of children and youth experiencing mental health challenges over the years, especially with how COVID has changed the way we live our daily lives,” says Paula Sandhu, Manager, Clinical Operations, Child, Youth and Young Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Fraser Health.

“The Adolescent Day Treatment Program at Surrey Memorial Hospital plays a crucial role in supporting youth experiencing mental health issues and takes a team approach, working closely with their families on a comprehensive treatment plan to help them recover.”

Surrey Memorial Hospital’s ADTP provides a full range of mental health services and educational programming for adolescents from the Fraser Valley with acute mental health conditions such as psychosis, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.

Participants engage in individual and family therapy, art and music therapy, group therapy, recreation therapy, therapeutic classroom time, and other activities delivered within a therapeutic milieu, designed to optimize their social, emotional, and academic functioning.

The ADTP is part of SMH’s overall youth mental health services which includes the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU), a safe, specialized environment where young people and their families can receive urgent hospital care during a mental health crisis.

Those youth who require more intensive and longer treatment are either admitted to the hospital’s Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, or referred to the Adolescent Day Treatment Program.

To raise funds to support SMH’s youth mental health programs, the Surrey Hospitals Foundation is hosting their summer marquee paddle board event, Champion of the Crescent, on Saturday, July 23 at Blackie Spit on Crescent Beach.

Joined by Presenting Sponsor EllisDon, Centre Stage Sponsor LMS, and Course Sponsor Houle Electric, the Foundation aims to raise $200,000 for youth programs at Surrey Memorial Hospital as well as for renovating an outdoor therapeutic space at Shirley Dean Pavilion, used for group sessions, recreation, gardening programs and other supportive initiatives for youth.

Designed by volunteer landscape architects from McElhanney, the newly renovated Shirley Dean Pavilion will have refreshed space where youth can engage in music and art therapy sessions, outdoor gardening workshop spaces and other recreational activities that will help improve their mental well-being.

“There has never been a more critical time to support our youth who are experiencing more mental health challenges than ever before, especially with the added stress of COVID,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.

“We would like to thank all the communities and our sponsors who are supporting this important cause to help raise funds for youth mental health programs at Surrey Memorial Hospital.”

The Champion of the Crescent paddle board event will see teams of four paddlers compete in fast-paced water relays for a chance to win the coveted LMS Champion of the Crescent trophy. Festivities include a live music concert by Canadian singer-songwriter, Barney Bentall, a Paddler’s Village, interactive family activities, a contest for best team costumes and for the team that fell the most, plus a swag bag for all paddlers.