Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – September 6, 2023 | TeensTalk YXE was founded in October 2022 by Taryn and Pam Hutchings – a mother and daughter duo from Warman, SK. Taryn suffered an extreme mental health crisis beginning in August of 2022 which left her admitted 9 times to the in-patient psychiatric unit, totaling more than 90 hospitalized days. During this crisis, Taryn and Pam realized there was a gap in youth services in Saskatoon where youth struggling with their mental health could connect with other youth and access information and education. Together, Taryn and Pam decided to create the support community and TeensTalk YXE was born.
Earlier in 2023, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) announced their partnership with TeensTalk YXE. During that announcement CMHA stated that according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 70 per cent of persons living with a mental illness see their symptoms begin before age 18 and that it is estimated that mental illness affects 1.2 million children and youth in Canada.
As a committed advocate for youth well-being and mental health, Saskatchewan Blue Cross is proud to support TeensTalk YXE and youth struggling with mental health. Kelly Wilson, President & CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross, expressed her support for this new partnership by adding, “We believe that by investing in the potential of children and youth, we are building a stronger more vibrant future for all of us in the province.”
Statistics Canada (2022) reports more than half (52%) of youth aged 12 to 17 viewed their mental health differently than their parents did, and nearly two-thirds rated it less positively than their parents.
“TeensTalk YXE are thrilled to partner with Saskatchewan Blue Cross and are grateful for their support as we continue hosting youth mental health sharing circles into 2024 and begin offering a caregiver/parent peer support sharing circle this fall. Peer support is a vital component to navigating mental health challenges – and by providing this space, youth and caregivers have the opportunity to grow, learn, support and connect with others walking similar paths. Mental health impacts everyone and together, we create a ripple effect of positive change, fostering a healthier and happier community,” said Pam Hutchings, Co-Founder & Director of TeensTalk YXE.
Monthly Sharing Circles provide youth with a safe and affirming space to know that they are not alone on their mental health journeys and to support one another in a positive environment. Youth can share their experiences, coping strategies, struggles, and successes with peers that can relate to them. Parent and Caregiver Peer Support Sharing Circles provide shared understanding for caregivers and parents who have faced similar challenges. In a safe space, they can openly discuss feelings, concerns, and triumphs without fear of judgement. They learn from others by gaining insight and inspiration from those who have navigated similar difficulties, learn practical tips and coping strategies and build supportive networks.
As an organization committed to the health and wellness of everyone in the province, Saskatchewan Blue Cross continues to support initiatives that promote healthy lives and communities, particularly those that support youth.
About TeensTalk YXE
TeensTalk YXE is a non-profit organization providing resources and support to young people in Saskatchewan. Supports include monthly sharing circles for teens and caregivers, providing awareness about teen mental health through story-telling and education, strengthening the understanding of caregivers on the importance of on-going dialogues with their teens and sharing teen stories in schools while providing resources and education on where and how to reach out for support. TeensTalk YXE is looking forward to expanding their support by hosting wellness retreats beginning in January 2024 as well as school presentations. They are committed to working together with youth and families to create meaningful engagement and effective treatment that results in positive outcomes for young people. Learn more at ttyxe.ca.
About Saskatchewan Blue Cross
For more than 75 years, Saskatchewan Blue Cross® has been committed to delivering exceptional health and wellness benefits, travel insurance and life insurance solutions to Saskatchewan residents and employers. A locally based, not-for-profit organization, it’s recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, one of the Top 100 Companies in Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s Top 100 Brands (as part of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross® Plans), and proudly supports the wellbeing of more than 200,000 members. With a mission to empower communities on their journey to whole health and wellness, and a vision for a future of lifelong health and wellbeing for every person in Saskatchewan, this team is committed to advancing and benefiting the communities they call home. Learn more at: www.sk.bluecross.ca.
Cheryl de Villiers
Director, Marketing & External Affairs