A City of Swift Current initiative has created a national program that focuses on youth wellness after partnering with a charitable organization. 

Safe Places in Swift Current and Little Warriors officially launched the free Community Bridge Program on Monday. 

The initiative is designed to help families prevent and cope with sexual trafficking, abuse, addiction, self-harm, eating disorders and other mental health issues, as well as providing critical information on internet safety, gender and diversity, sexual safety, relationships and conflict amongst other wellness topics. 

Manager of Safe Places, Kelly Schafer, said that when they started planning with Little Warriors, the new program was going to be unique to Swift Current. 

“The more we partnered, we realized why wouldn't we make it, you know, available to everybody nationally?” she said. “Little Warriors are a national organization, they're a charitable organization that works with youth, and so it made sense that rather than it being a Safe Places specific program, that we would just make it available to everybody.” 

Safe Places – Youth Certified is centred on educating adults and persons working with youth in the community to provide a positive and safe environment for the younger generation.  

Schafer described the more the initiative connected with residents in the area, the more light was shed on a gap that needed to be bridged: providing critical information to the youth themselves so they can have a positive life experience. 

“What initially started out as abuse and bullying awareness education…we realized there was a number of other different topics that we could help support and educate youth on,” she said. “We started off with one vision and then all of a sudden it built into something much more spectacular. So we are really excited to be able to offer this.” 

The final product, which features self-led and facilitated formats for a number of wellness topics, came together with help from many professionals, including psychologists, social workers, youth and parents including Chinook School Division and their school counsellors.  

It is offered free of charge thanks to the generous contributions from the Government of Canada Healthy Communities Initiative - Community Foundations of Canada, Butler Family Foundation, Cross Culture Ministries of BC, City of Swift Current and the Innovation Federal Credit Union in Swift Current.

To access and start learning through the Community Bridge Program, can head to their website here.

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