Walkerton mental health organization wins $130K award
Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 2:35PM EST
A Walkerton-based youth organization is set to expand thanks to $130,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.
Wes for Youth is an online counselling service for young people in midwestern Ontario facing mental health issues.
The organization was born out of tragedy. In September 2011, 16-year-old Wes Cameron committed suicide. His parents say they had no idea he was having problems.
Yolanda Cameron, Wes’s mother, has said "We were totally shocked, blown away, blindsided. We had no idea that something like this could happen."
Shortly after his death Wes's parents started Wes for Youth to give young people in midwestern Ontario a place to go to when they have questions or concerns.
They already have over 50 kids registered for online counselling and get calls from concerned parents on a daily basis.
Now after receiving over 15,000 votes, Wes for Youth was awarded $130,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.
The announcement was made on CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday morning. Wes for Youth plans to use the windfall to expand their online counselling and create an actual youth centre in Walkerton.
Cindy Davidson, speaking on behalf of Wes for Youth Online's Board of Directors, said in a statement “Wes for Youth Online has the potential to impact more youth in the community with this generous funding from AVIVA...This is not just a win for Wes for Youth Online; this is a win for youth mental health as a whole.”
Yolanda added “The opportunities are endless for what we will be able to offer youth in terms of supports and services related to their mental well-being...We are so thankful for everyone for their votes and incredible support to make this funding a major step forward in the promotion of good mental health for our young people and their families.”
For more information please visit: Wesforyouthonline.ca