Port Hardy hoping to qualify for Foundry Youth Centre

 By Nickka Hutton,  North Island Eagle,  February 21 2020

On Tuesday evening, 45 concerned adults and youth met in the North Island Secondary School library in Port McNeill to talk about opening a Foundry Youth Centre on the North Island. 

Chris Parker, member of the North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society (NICCCS) led the discussion, seeking input on the strengths of our community, what’s going well for youth and families, and concrete ways to support youth in the community. Opinions and suggestions were collected and will be used for the next phase of the evaluation. 

Port Hardy was one of 40 communities across B.C. who hoped to qualify for a Foundry Youth Centre. Nineteen communities made the shortlist, including Port Hardy, and are moving to the next phase, known as a Convening. There is hope that if Port Hardy gets a Foundry Youth Centre, a satellite Foundry will open in Port McNeill. 

Foundry Youth Centres aim to “provide a one-stop-shop for young people to access mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services and youth and family peer supports.” Youth aged 12 to 24 and their families can see a family doctor; get help with work, school, or income assistance; find counseling; get help with harm reduction or substance abuse; even obtain peer support services, all under one roof. Foundry also provides assistance online.

The BC Office of the Premier claims that “between 2013 and 2015, the number of B.C. students reporting depression rose by 50 per cent and the number reporting anxiety increased by over 135 per cent. Further, 17 per cent of students reported that they had seriously considered suicide in the last year.” 

Photo — Nickka Hutton

Julie Fraser, Jayden Ovington, Christine Swain, Shaynna Wagner, Kayla Berry discuss ways youth could feel more supported.

Port Alice author brings 1,000 poems to Cafe Guido

 By Kathy O'Reilly  North Island Eagle,  February 21 2020

Port Alice’s Brendon Wilkie got his start as a poet writing lyrics for the punk rock band Sponge Cookie he belonged to growing up.

Wilkie still writes punk rock and Hip-Hop music but he has focused energy on penning poetry with amazing results.

Wilkie, who writes under the pseudonym Conshinz, recently got a deal to publish a book of his poetry entitled ‘The Book of 1000 Poems Vol. 1-4’.

Wilkie says his rhyme poetry is crass, funny and sometimes disturbing. 

“Some are deep. Some are dark. I write about life, perspectives and points of view. I write to jar people and generate deep thought,” he said.

“Getting published has been amazing. I wrote all of these poems in this book in a state of deep mental conflict,” he shared.

“My formerly untreated mental disorders and illness was comforted by writing these poems. So, it feels like I took something bad and made it as good as possible.”

North Island residents will be able to enjoy a taste of his work on March 7 when he hosts a poetry reading at Cafe Guido from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Wilkie grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Elmira, Ontario. “I also lived in Montreal and Sooke.”

He works in a sober living facility and writes part time. 

“One day I hope to make writing my main income but will always be helping the community in some way.”

In his spare time, Wilkie likes being in the woods, playing golf and camping with his wife and son. 

“I love to skateboard but am getting too old for it,” he laughs.

Photo — Submitted

Poet Brendon Wilkie will be reading from his book March 7.


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