Page 17 Please note that all secondary schools have public health nurses a few times a month on Wednesdays. Check with your local school to find out more. Partnerships with Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, Island Health, Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre, Discovery Substance Use and Addictions, Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Nanaimo Division of Family Practice and the Haven Society have enabled the centres to become a valuable asset to school communities. The Welllness Team at Barsby includes physicians, public health nurses and administrative staff. Physicians are available for three half days, alongside three public health nurses and one administrative staff. Some of the initiatives offered at the centre include: information sessions, assemblies, and theme weeks in coordination with the school’s needs or a trend. The public health nurses can do immunizations and also attend parent/teacher nights. Dr. Kevin Martin said, “School-based primary care is an innovative, empowering and integral component of a healthy society. It is essential to support the health care journeys of our young citizens comprehensively, directly and compassionately.” In order to provide support throughout the year the centres are open during the spring, summer and winter breaks. Support is available at any time – no appointment is needed. The centres are fully funded by Island Health except for the counselling services, which are provided through Tillicum Lelum, Discovery Services, and ChildandYouthMentalHealth. NanaimoLadysmith Public Schools was able to provide the shared space. Kenning says, “The success of the Wellness Centres is a result of the great partnerships we have to support the students together.” The information and resources available at the centres are a great example of the partnership benefitting the youth of today and in the future. Access to health care within the schools has been an advantage for students as they utilize resources and seek medical attention onsite. The centres have also been developing strong, healthy relationships. As NDSS Principal Geoff Steel says, “The popularity of the Wellness Centres has really taken off at NDSS and John Barsby.” 