The caring nurses and doctors at our BensKids Health Centre understand that when a youth is focused on trying to survive a frigid night on the street or find their next meal, they are often unable to tend to their health until the situation becomes severe.
Many youth come to us with numerous health issues after trying to manage alone for too long. Winter is an especially busy time. Coughs and colds can become serious if not treated, so our health care team created cold kits this season to help youth who are coping alone with an illness.
“Giving our youth tools to manage their health is a way to empower them,” explains Elisa, one of our registered nurses. “We help them gain confidence in their ability to control their lives.”
For a homeless youth, cold and flu season is especially difficult. Life on the street is stressful and hard on the respiratory system. A good night’s sleep is rare and access to hand-washing is limited. When a kid on the street does get sick, it is challenging on their body and spirits as they try to cope alone.
Our cold kits include lozenges, herbal tea, vapor rub, herbal cough syrup, tissues, and a handy guide with tips to minimize the risk of catching the flu.
We serve the immediate needs of our young people with or without ID or a health card. Most importantly, we offer holistic services, as well as support to access all the services that our youth need in the community to ensure they feel truly cared for.
Our youth have told us that they choose to come to our clinic because our staff treat them from a place of compassion and understanding. Last year, we had over 5,700 visits.