UBC Okanagan offers its expertise to struggling parents

Pilot walk-in clinic open to the public

UBC Okanagan’s School of Social Work Mental Health Clinic is a key partner in the new on-campus walk-in well-being clinic. The Social Work Walk-in Clinic is specifically designed to support parents who have concerns about their children’s mental health.

The Social Work Walk-In Clinic is open to the public every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 6. Services are free and no appointment is necessary.

Hilla Shlomi, director of the Social Work Walk-In Clinic says the new service provides critical support and interventions for parents who may be feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of raising children in general, and particularly those who raise children with behavioural challenges or mental health concerns.

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“Parents today are faced with a variety of complex challenges, ranging from managing their children’s excessive screen time to coping with depression and anxiety,” said Shlomi. “We aim to normalize the fact that parenting is challenging. We want parents to feel safe to say ‘I am worried about my child’s mental health’ and then help them develop effective, evidence-based parenting tools to support their children.”

Clients complete a brief intake questionnaire about their child’s mental health, and then receive a 30 to 45 minute session with a Master of Social Work student, supervised by an experienced mental health clinician. Clients may be offered free follow-up appointments if necessary.

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“We work with the parent to develop an individualized plan that includes tangible solutions and targets the most pressing concerns they have about their child’s behaviours and mental health,”said Shlomi. “This is a unique offering in the Okanagan and one that we hope will fill a need in our community.”

Those interested in the service are welcome to contact the clinic by phone at 250 807 8241 or drop-in during clinic hours at the UBC Okanagan Arts and Sciences Centre, room 167.

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