Wellness, Culture and Sport

The Link program launched provincewide (09/02/09)

NB 128

Feb. 9, 2009

GRAND FALLS (CNB) - A program to help children in grades 6 -12 experiencing psychological difficulties and contemplating suicide was officially launched provincewide by Hédard Albert, minister of wellness, culture and sport.

The Link (Programme Le Maillon) builds on its success as a project in Grand Falls. It was established in 1999 in response to the suicides of three students. Under the program, a resource person, known as a Link companion, is available to provide guidance to youths experiencing serious problems and thinking of committing serious actions, including suicide. The Link companion also directs youths to counselling services available in their region.

"Mental fitness and resiliency is one of the four pillars that guide our provincial wellness strategy," Albert said. "The Link program helps our youths be well. This is essential, as they are the leaders of tomorrow and are the key to the self-sufficiency of our province. It is exciting to see so many partners working together to provide assistance to those youth facing difficulties."

Today's event also included examples of some of the promotional materials that each regional Link committee has developed. A new provincial website, www.thelinkprogram.com, was also unveiled.

"It is time to show our youths that they are not alone when facing difficulties or stress in their lives," said Gaéten Germain, president of The Link Inc. "They may use a Link companion as a helper to access the most appropriate resources in their community that will help them with their troubles."


MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle McFarlane, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.