New Youth Wellness Hub to Open in Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay, ON — The Ontario government is launching a new Youth Wellness Hub to serve Thunder Bay and the surrounding areas, making it easier for young people to access mental health and substance use services. This new hub is one of 10 being added to the existing network of 22 hubs, bringing the total to 32 across the province.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is continuing to take action to improve mental health and addictions services in communities across Ontario, and support people and their families living with mental health and substance use challenges,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we expand the number of Youth Wellness Hubs across the province, young people in Thunder Bay can connect to the mental health and addictions care they need, in one convenient location, closer to home.”

Starting in 2025, the new hub will provide free mental health, substance use, primary care, and Indigenous healing services to youth aged 12 to 25 in a safe, youth-friendly space. The hub will be designed with input from local youth, community partners, and Indigenous service providers, ensuring it meets the diverse needs of the community.

Children’s Centre Thunder Bay is leading the co-design of the new hub. The facility will offer traditional cultural teachings and supports for Indigenous youth and their families.

Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay–Atikokan, emphasized the importance of the hub: “Thunder Bay advocates have been interested in establishing a Youth Wellness Hub in our community since 2017. Although an application submitted at that time did not bring about the desired results, the potential for a Thunder Bay hub re-emerged following the mental health and addictions roundtable with Associate Minister Michael Tibollo in August 2023. Our sincere appreciation to Minister Jones and Associate Minister Tibollo for their steadfast support. These youth-adult partnerships shall form the very foundation of our local model and empower youth as co-designers of service and program delivery improvements.”

Ken Boshcoff, Mayor of Thunder Bay, expressed his gratitude: “We are extremely grateful for this vital investment that provides a friendly and welcoming one-stop shop for youth in the City of Thunder Bay and surrounding District. Thank you to all the youth who worked so hard to make this project possible.”

The new hub will be part of the province’s effort to fill gaps in mental health and addictions care, supported by a $3.8 billion investment over 10 years through the Roadmap to Wellness. This initiative aims to provide young people with the tools they need to face life’s challenges in a supportive environment.

Dr. Jo Henderson, Executive Director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, highlighted the collaborative effort: “This critical investment provides young people in the City and District of Thunder Bay with an inclusive and welcoming space where they can access a full range of holistic and integrated mental health, substance use health, primary care, housing, employment, recreation, and other support services that meet their individual needs.”

Jennifer Lawrance of the Noojmawing Sookatagaing Ontario Health Team praised the hub’s potential impact: “The Youth Wellness Hub will foster health equity, access to integrated care and services, and a sense of connection and belonging, ultimately improving health outcomes for youth in the District and City of Thunder Bay.”

The Thunder Bay Youth Wellness Hub represents a significant step forward in supporting the mental health and well-being of young people in the community.

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