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Youville Centre’s programs help parenting youth access their strengths and achieve their goals.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Youville Centre in Ottawa is a non-profit registered charity and accredited Child and Youth Mental Health Agency working to support parenting youth.

Several adolescents accessing services at Youville participated in a recent Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) research study with a focus on understanding how pregnant and parenting youth experience health care engagement, says the organization’s executive director Bev MacKillop. The study found many adolescents, in particular pregnant and parenting youth, do not access health-care services for fear of judgment.

The CHEO study also highlighted mental health risk factors such as trauma, substance use, housing, transportation, nutrition and lack of family support.

At Youville, mothers participate in parenting programs to promote secure attachment. “We give young moms the courage to utilize their strengths and achieve their treatment, academic and parenting goals,” says Ms. MacKIllop.

“With support, we can break the cycles of abuse, violence and poverty to help moms build a brighter future for themselves and their children.”

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