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Medical Health Bus for High Risk Youth

ACF12150 The Alex Youth Health Bus calgary, ab

Created October  7, 2011 by Petra


calgary, ab

Funding Level

$100k - 150k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


**Overview** Imagine being in high school, you’ve just broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, you have no support from your parents and you’re feeling so depressed that you don’t want to go on living? Or perhaps you are afraid you might be pregnant, you can’t tell your parents and simply don’t know where to turn? These situations are very real for many young people in Calgary and the Alex Youth Health Bus has been helping them deal with their problems since Oct. 2009. The bus is actually a retrofitted RV that contains two exam-rooms, staffed by a physician, an RN and a youth worker (who is also the driver). Two days a week we make scheduled stops at various high schools in Calgary. Initially the teachers take students out to the parking lot to have a tour of the bus and a sign-up sheet is posted in the school for anyone who wants to make an appointment. Gradually, through word of mouth, kids grow to trust the care-givers on the bus. The support offered is non-judgmental and confidential... it’s a place to go for those who have nowhere else to turn. Our dedicated and caring staff have done hundreds of screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), treated all of those that tested positive, completed numerous pregnancy tests, offered prenatal care, counselled suicidal kids – all in the hopes that we can give these youth a chance to finish high school, achieve their goals and become contributing members of our society. The kids we help tell us they don’t know what they would have done without the health bus. Alas, we can’t be there for everyone who needs our services. There are simply not enough hours in the day to see everyone who comes to us, and we are forced to turn some students away without being seen. The demand for our services speaks for itself! **How you can help** Please make your vote count! Help us to help the young people who are currently falling through the gaps! In an ideal world the health care system would provide these much-needed services directly but the reality is that they don’t. That is what makes funding our health bus, (part of the Alexandra Community Health Centre,) so important. With financial support from the Aviva Community Fund we could double the number of schools we visit. This very unique, innovative and much-needed project is already making a positive difference in our society and with more resources we can improve the lives of many more young people who need us. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------