FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government and Bell Let’s Talk have joined forces to fund mental health support for children and young people with complex mental health needs. Bell Let’s Talk is a program funded by Bell Canada designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health across Canada.

Through this joint-funding initiative Strongest Families Institute, which provides e-health services for children and families, will launch their program in New Brunswick.

“Your government is proud to be partnering with Bell Let’s Talk to offer additional resources to children, youth and families experiencing mental health issues,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “The institute will meet the needs of children and youth that begin exhibiting difficulties in their functioning early on while at the same time supporting their families, an initiative that will complement New Brunswick’s already successful Integrated Service Delivery model for children and youth.”

The provincial government will provide $350,000 in funding over four years, to be matched by Bell. Similar partnerships are already underway in the other three Atlantic provinces.

The Strongest Families Institute is a not-for-profit corporation founded in Nova Scotia and is internationally-recognized for its evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. They provide timely, accessible care to families by teaching skills through a distance coaching approach – supporting families over the phone and internet, in the comfort and privacy of their own home. The institute provides care that is customized to the needs of the families with programs designed to support children and youth aged three to 17.

“Strongest Families has a proven track record when it comes to child and youth mental health services and Bell Let’s Talk is very pleased to support them in expanding their reach to more families across the Atlantic region,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “And we particularly commend our government partners in New Brunswick for their leadership and commitment to mental health. By working together we can have such an impact on the growing number of families who will benefit throughout the region.”

Services of the institute could be available to New Brunswick children and families as early as this spring.