This week (May 1- 7)) is National Youth Week, a week dedicated to the celebration of youth and their active participation in their community. SOS offers various services for youth through the Child,Youth and Family Centre programming, by responding to each individual participant’s needs, and helping them access resources in the community, whether that involves mental health, employment preparedness, sexuality or life skills.


“It’s no secret that today’s youth are facing more challenges than ever,” says Paulette Harcourt, manager of SOS Child, Youth and Family Centre. “The pressures placed on youth by their peers, parents and by society are enormous.”

“Anxiety is the number one concern among youth right now, about family situations, school, friendships, safety, you name it,” says Harcourt. “Finding positive ways to cope with that anxiety is a life skill that any of us could benefit from.”

SOS offers programming to help young people navigate the stress and pressure, and to help them connect with the positive aspects of being a young person in the Oceanside Community.

Nikki Westra-Luney, youth coordinator for SOS says that building an atmosphere of safety is critical to the success of SOS Youth Programs, so that “youth can feel free to be themselves when they are here,” she says.

“We have an awesome group of teens who have formed some really strong friendships here at SOS. Whether we’re talking about serious issues that are happening in their lives, or out at a movie or activity in the community, it’s a really cool group to be involved with.”

To help celebrate Youth Week, SOS assisted with an event at Ballenas Secondary School on May 1st . The event included a DJ battle; BBQ; inflatable Hamster Balls; and a street hockey game of teens versus off-duty local RCMP. The weather was awesome; the teens who came out were amazing; the DJs kept the party going, and a great time was had by all!