The pandemic has caused a rise in demand for youth mental health services in Muskoka – and Mind-Aid aims to help.

Jody North, executive director and navigator for Mind-Aid, recently spoke to our club about the free, personalized navigation and support service that helps Muskoka youth on their journey to mental wellness. The service is available to any Muskoka resident age 29 or younger, and their guardians, and supports them to wade through the complex health and social service systems to access care and resources.

She said the service has two staff members, called navigators, and they listen to and support youth and guardians, tailor services to their needs, guide them through the system, answer their questions, advocate for them, help them access funding, and connect them with providers, practitioners, and resources. Connections are made not only with mental health supports, but also with other services and resources that support broader social determinants of health, she said.

Mind-Aid has supported more than 300 young people and families since it launched in 2020. And demand was on the rise.

So how can the community support Mind-Aid's efforts? What was most needed, said Jody, was long-term operational funding.

Our Rotary club contributed $2,000 to Muskoka Mind-Aid for 2021-2022, and committed to further financial support in both 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. Thank you, Mind-Aid, for supporting the health and wellness of youth and families in Muskoka.