More Calgary street youth are turning to a clinic offering free mental health help.
Mental health assessment is just one of the services offered by the Calgary Adolescent Treatment Services Clinic. Located in Wood's Homes' downtown location, the clinic has seen a 120 per cent jump in the number of visits by high-risk youth over the past four years.
A clinic pediatrician says vulnerable youth often fall through cracks of the medical system.
"They possess unique characteristics that sometimes inhibit them from going to other clinics, so we wanted to create something that was accessible to them," said Dr. April Elliott.
Confidential care is free for those between12 and 23 years old.
"We do general health,sexual health, but we do a lot of mental health assessment as well," said Dr. Eliott. "We're finding that we are often the liaison to them finding services in the communities that they wouldn't be connected to, from a mental health perspective, if we weren't here."
One former street youth, who now has his own apartment and is studying to become a chef, credits the clinic with getting him on the medication he needed.