Autumn update from Heather McDonald, CEO

RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OUR YOUTH

LOFT is proud to offer unconditional support. Together, we have built an environment of acceptance and community — but things aren’t always easy. The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has projected that the Delta variant will peak in September. With the pandemic’s devastating effects on mental health continuing to take their toll, our awareness turns to the needs of our clients and staff.

At LOFT, our clients have been dealing with multiple challenges, including increased isolation, anxiety, and depression. Tragically, suicide is one of the leading causes of death among youth. Nearly 90% of LOFT’s younger clients have reported feeling suicidal at some point in their lives. The situation worsened during the pandemic, when the number of people in Toronto reaching out for mental health assistance broke records.

Thanks to donor funding from the Schulich Foundation, LOFT has expanded access to both virtual and in-person supports including group Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of therapy that is focused on teaching youth how to cope in the current moment of distress and develop effective strategies to regulate their emotions.

COMMUNITY-DRIVEN APPROACH

Many of our youth are also experiencing stress about returning to high school and post-secondary institutions. Our clients need support to stay focused on school, and our dedicated staff is there to help with an increased level of care to make sure they don’t fall behind.

We strongly believe that our strategic, community-driven approach to care will allow us to face whatever awaits. If you’d like to know more about how you can help, please see here.