Mary Beth Hall

The BCSS Youth team presented at the Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses (HM/HC) biennial summit held from February 27 – March 1, 2023. Held virtually, BCSS gave a 20-minute presentation on how BCSS Youth’s Teens in Control (TIC) program curriculum helps youth enjoy a healthier transition from high school to university, especially when moving away from home.

This year’s HM/HC summit theme was activating the Okanagan Charter– which calls on “post-secondary institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.” The BCSS Youth presentation highlighted how the TIC program focuses on taking care of ourselves, creating healthy boundaries, and navigating stressful situations, including starting school or moving away from home. Our effort is to provide the youth with tools and skills that let them transition more comfortably into university life.

Additionally, the skills learned through our TIC program lets the youth create an “emotional safety plan” for themselves as well as others. An emotional safety plan is an action plan that the youth can follow when feeling emotionally overwhelmed or unsafe. It makes them aware of things like who they can call for support and how they can calm themselves.

Finally, the presentation emphasized how spreading awareness among youth about mental illness helps promote the need to focus more on mental health issues locally and globally. Most importantly, the TIC program teaches the youth to recognize the early symptoms of a mental illness– which significantly aids early diagnosis and treatment of severe and persistent mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

BCSS Youth has lately focused on reaching a wider audience and expanding its reach across the province through more such presentations and programs across the province. You can know more about all BCSS Youth programs and services on the BCSS website.