Lutherwood is excited to announce that as of the start of the school year in September, our Children’s Mental Health Centre at 285 Benjamin Road welcomed children between the ages of 6-11 to our Day Treatment program. This builds on the successes of our existing Day Treatment services for youth and expands our age range to help children from 6 to 18.
To prepare for their arrival, we added four new classrooms, new staff positions including a Recreation Coordinator, and thanks to a generous donation from Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, a new outdoor playground to appeal to the younger children.
“This is an exciting development for us because we know that the earlier we can support kids, the better the long-term outcomes for the child and their family,” said Alison Willetts, Assistant Director of Mental Health Services.
Although this is a new age bracket for our Children’s Mental Health Centre team and there is much learning and changing, staff worked hard to prepare for the new program, with a lot of collaboration between our psychology, clinical and Child and Youth Counsellor teams as well as the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
This is just the first of many steps to making this location a hub for child, youth and family mental health needs in the community, both intensive and preventative.
“Down the road, ideally Benjamin Road will be more accessible to the entire community and give families access to an even broader range of mental wellness services than it does currently,” Alison said. “We want to be an anchor in the community for children and families who are struggling.”
Although it was a challenge to build new classrooms and develop new programming in such a short time frame and during a pandemic, it is clear that this service is needed and will help so many children and youth in our community.
"Being a student at Lutherwood provided me with lots of hands-on experience, I learned a lot in my time there, and was excited to go to placement every day! I was surrounded by very supportive staff who not only allowed me a safe environment to make mistakes but also take the time to educate me & check in with me."