Kelowna residents sip, savour and support mental health

Over 100 people attended Oktoberfeast this year, raising $12,000 towards the opening of an integrated youth clinic in Kelowna.

Over $12

Kelowna residents came together to support youth mental health and raised $12,000 for a new youth mental health clinic, set to open in March during the annual Oktoberfeast celebrations in support of mental health.

Over 100 people attended Okanagan Oktoberfeast this year, an annual event that puts proceeds to important local causes with this year’s benefactor being a new youth clinic that will bring all services for youth under one roof.

EXTRA: Community leader Mike Gawliuk pushing hard for mental health improvements

Guests were treated to live music and a menu of wild fish and game and came through with $12,000 in support for the new venture. For the last two years, Oktoberfeast has supported youth mental health initiatives through the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna and District Branch (CMHA Kelowna).

“The funds raised by this year’s Oktoberfeast event will contribute to the establishment of this clinic that is so urgently needed. Young people and families will be able to get the help they need, when they need it,” said Shelagh Turner, executive  director of CMHA Kelowna.

As part of the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative, the integrated youth clinic will be a world-class centre. Set to open in March 2017, it will enable young people struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues to gain easy access to services including primary care, mental health, substance use, counseling, and social services such as access to housing, employment and education support, and more.

Oktoberfeast was presented by Peacock Financial Group, the KGH ER Department, and the Bohemian Café and Catering Co.

“We are so thrilled to be able to support the opening of a youth clinic in Kelowna,” said Dr. Mike Ertel. “In the hospital, in the emergency department, we’ve seen first hand the crisis children and youth are facing when it comes to mental health. We need to do better.”

In partnership with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, CMHA Kelowna is looking to the community to raise the two million dollars needed to establish this clinic, support annual program initiatives, and allow for ongoing innovation over the next three years.

If you would like to help, please visit http://cmhakelowna.com/donateforyouth