Mike Gawliuk realizes the value of teamwork and his vision is about to pay-off for youth and families in the Kelowna area.
As the director of service delivery and program innovation for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Mike has taken a leadership role in advancing services for youth and families in Kelowna. He was a member of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative and is now helping to push youth services to the next level.
He has a lead role in securing funding for the B.C. Integrated Youth Services Initiative, a three-year plan that will bring services for youth and families under one central roof in Kelowna, transforming how youth and young adults access health and social services.
“I’ve been fortunate to be put in a leadership position to be able to bring organizations together to realize this opportunity for our community,” says Mike. “For me it’s an honour to part of this and to help launch it. This is going to be great for youth in our community.”
In a nutshell, youth between the ages of 12 and 24 will soon be able to find all services in one building with the integrated youth services initiative.
A one-stop shop for youth will be available when the program launches in the spring. It means youth and families won’t have to bounce around from service provider to service provider and instead will find all the services under one roof, simplifying the process.
“What we have found is youth and families pinball from one service provider to another and don’t get the help they need,” he said. “The beauty of a one-stop shop is you don’t have to pinball. This will bring a number of services together under one roof.”
During the process Mike encouraged the various agencies to work together in order to apply a a community for the significant funding. More than 20 organizations were brought together to support the objective of the initiative.
While he won’t take it, much of the credit for pushing the integrated initiative goes to Mike. In the end it will be a huge benefit to young people in the community when the centre opens next spring.
“When I look at building community it’s just that: Community,” he says. “This is about the partners and their willingness to do something that hasn’t been done before.”