Helping kids beat anxiety

Chelsea Powrie

A Canadian non-profit organization offering free remote counselling strategies for kids and teens suffering from anxiety is hoping to spread the word about their services in Penticton. 

Strongest Families Institute CEO Patricia Pottie gave a free talk about her company at the Shatford Centre on Tuesday, organized by the Rotary Club of Penticton.

"For the past four years we've had a youth mental health initiative going on in the community because there's such a need in this area and very few resources," said Mike Watkins, club chair. "We found out about Strongest Families so we thought the best way to introduce it to everybody is to bring the folks to town."

The program is online-based, with interactive videos and tools to help teach kids and teens how to manage their anxiety.

Every participant also gets a coach, who they speak to over the phone for individually-tailored help. Pottie said this remote-based model is designed to remove barriers to care and help as many people as possible.

"We know that anxiety is very common in children and youth, and if you don't get a handle on the anxiety early with evidence-based skills like we have to offer, things will become worse over time," Pottie said. 

Pottie also said that the majority of kids or teens enrolled in the program see major improvement within four to five months. 

For more information on the Strongest Families Institute, check here

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