New drop-in clinic helps break down barriers for youth to access medical services

Revelstoke Secondary School offers a number of community services for youth including sexual health, healthy relationships and counselling.

A medical drop-in clinic for students at Revelstoke Secondary School starts the first Wednesday in March.

A new weekly drop-in clinic at Revelstoke Secondary School is helping to break down barriers for youth who need to access medical services.

The drop-in clinic is set to start the first week of March and will run each Wednesday from 11:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m. The clinic will round out a number of other community services already offered at the high school.

“I’m passionate about working with youth. With youth you have to be where they are,” said Dr. Lora Cruise of Mountain View Medical Centre.

Cruise, along with Dr. Kimberly Veale of Selkirk Medical Clinic and public health nurse Kelsey Croxall, will take turns covering the drop-in hours.

Croxall said the confidential services will include topics such as physical health, sleep, injury prevention, and information on tobacco and alcohol use. The clinic is hoping to offer immunizations at some point in the future.

“Kids have a right to see a doctor,” said Croxall.

The idea for the medical drop-in clinic at RSS came out of conversations during Revelstoke Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use committee meetings. Students wanting to access the drop in services need to have their personal health number and be aware of their right to consent to medical care.

“Why it came about so seamlessly is because of the community collaboration that already exists around the early years,” said Ariel McDowell, district principal of support services.

McDowell said she received a positive response from the medical community when she began to approach them about the idea of a drop-in clinic at RSS.

“Dr. Veale and I thought it was a great idea. It’s breaking down barriers for youth to access health care,” said Cruise. “We’re planning to do small tests of change and see what works for the kids. We’ll adapt as necessary.”

Other community services currently offered at RSS include:

-Options for Sexual Health (OPT) clinic

-Community Connections Family/Youth Services Staff (counselling, small group work and mentorship),

-Revelstoke Women’s Shelter promotes healthy relationships, food and games during the lunch hour

-Ministry of Children and Family Development clinical psychologist available for booked appointments.

RSS also has school-based counsellors, a career coordinator and an Aboriginal student assistant.