Teck Trail’s Carol Vanelli Worosz (top middle) recently met virtually with staff from West Kootenay Take a Hike. (Submitted)

Teck Trail’s Carol Vanelli Worosz (top middle) recently met virtually with staff from West Kootenay Take a Hike. (Submitted)

Teck Trail supports vulnerable youth during COVID-19

Teck donates $14,000 to West Kootenay Take a Hike

A $14,000 contribution from Teck Trail Operations means vulnerable students in the outdoor learning program known as Take a Hike will have some ongoing counselling support over the summer if they need it.

“The most recent donation for direct COVID-19 response … is in keeping with an annual partnership between West Kootenay Take a Hike and Teck Trail Operations which began in 2015,” community engagement manager Karen Waldal told the Times.

“We are very grateful for their continued support for our community’s most vulnerable youth.”

In response to the overwhelming need for mental health supports during the public health crisis, Take a Hike Foundation has mobilized their team of clinical counsellors online and extended mental health care throughout July and August while youth are on summer break.

Long-time Take a Hike program supporter, Teck Trail Operations, was one of the first organizations to step forward with a generous donation to ensure this expanded support was available for vulnerable youth in the West Kootenay.

For the thousands of youth across the province with existing mental health challenges, the public health crisis is compounding the challenges they already face, including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, addictions, and trauma.

The funding Teck Trail has provided will help Take a Hike extend their counselling services throughout July and August to 18 youth and their families in the Take a Hike program, and to 19 youth from the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre.

“We’re committed to supporting the long-term health and well-being of our local communities,” Thompson Hickey, Teck Trail’s general manager, said. “Take a Hike is an innovative education program that engages vulnerable youth, and we’re pleased to support the important work they are doing in our community, especially in the wake of COVID-19.”

Working from a trauma-informed and evidence-based approach, Take a Hike’s registered clinical counsellors help youth improve their mental health and well-being, build resilience, and develop healthy coping and stress-management skills.

The community-funded Take a Hike Foundation launched the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to meet the overwhelming need for expanded mental health supports for vulnerable youth across British Columbia.

Clinical counselling and community support for all enrolled youth is being extended throughout the summer vacation period, as well as to alumni and their families, and to additional youth referred by partnering school districts.

Take a Hike raised funding to immediately open up 75 clinical counselling spaces online, and is seeking an additional $200,000 to open the remaining spaces.

To make a donation or for more information, visit takeahikefoundation.org or phone 604.638.3385.

About Take a Hike Foundation

Since 2000, Take a Hike Foundation has provided a full-time mental health and emotional well-being program that empowers vulnerable youth with the social and emotional skills and resilience they need to graduate high school, build healthy relationships, and pursue their goals.

Embedded in an alternate education classroom, Take a Hike engages youth in intensive and continuous clinical counselling, outdoor adventure, and community, and partnering public school districts provide a high quality education.

Take a Hike Foundation is a registered Canadian charity with six programs located in the Lower Mainland, the West Kootenay and Vancouver Island.

About Teck Trail Operations

Teck Trail Operations is one of the world’s largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. Teck is committed to helping build healthy, vibrant communities in the areas where they operate. Through Teck’s community investment program, they contribute to charitable organizations, institutions, and initiatives that strengthen communities.

DonationEducation fundingSchool District No. 20 Kootenay-Columbia