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Primary Care Network introducing new programs for youth and women


5 minute read

By Mark Weber 

New programs at the Red Deer based Primary Care Network are geared specifically to bolster the well-being of youth and women.

“We have our regular collection of workshops that we continue to offer,” explained Julia Vallance, one of the PCN’s Program Managers.  “But the two new programs that we are bringing this month are a Menopause Series for Women and a Youth Anxiety to Calm program which is for youth ages 12 to 17,” she explained. The youth program goes for six weeks.

And while it might be too late to join this month, both programs will continue to be offered, she said.  In regard to the youth program, the inaugural session is being offered virtually.

Vallance said the PCN team is also working with Red Deer Public Schools, which will offer this program to students. The program is similar to the PCN’s Anxiety to Calm program which has been offered for several years. But this program will focus on youth-related themes, including the impacts of social media.

“This program isn’t only being offered in Red Deer. It’s also being offered through other PCNs across the province.

“So if people are interested, I would suggest that they contact their local PCN or they can go to the Alberta Find a Doctor website where we try to keep up-to-date details on what’s happening (with programs) across the province,” she said.

The PCN’s website describes Youth Anxiety to Calm as a means to, “Practice exercises to help manage anxiety, understand your thoughts, behaviours and emotions more deeply, and learn healthy lifestyle choices that will benefit you for years to come.”

“We are super excited to be bringing this program in. We haven’t worked with youth before so this will be a great new opportunity for us to learn what their needs are, and to try and tailor programs for them.”

Meanwhile, the Menopause Series for Women begins this month as well.

“This will be a four-week series, and it will be an in-person series,” said Vallance.  Down the road, both in-person and virtual opportunities will be available. “It will vary throughout the years.”

Vallance said women don’t necessarily have to be going through menopause to register for the series.

“For those going through perimenopause, (when the body is making the natural transition to menopause), it’s a great time for them to learn about their bodies and what they may experience as they go through menopause.

“We will also be talking about perimenopause and what to expect with that as well,” she said.

“We will also be looking at a variety of things that can go on throughout that menopause journey including some health conditions that can affect women after menopause as well.” Vallance noted there will also be discussions about various pharmacological treatments and other ways to manage symptoms.

“I think it’s been something that people don’t really want to talk about but it’s so important. So we are really looking forward to having that opportunity to discuss this and give them more information.

“Sometimes there is misinformation about menopause, or people are seeking support and don’t know where to go. We want to make sure that they are also reaching out to their healthcare professionals and knowing when to reach out.”

Primary Care Networks are made up of groups of family physicians working with other healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, exercise specialists, social workers, and mental health professionals.

Red Deer PCN supports the communities of Red Deer, Blackfalds, and Penhold.

For more information about these programs, call the local PCN office at 403-343-9100 or check out

Born and raised in Red Deer, Mark Weber is an award-winning freelance writer who is committed to the community. He worked as a reporter for the Red Deer Express for 18 years including six years as co-editor. During that time, he mainly covered arts and entertainment plus a spectrum of areas from city news and health stories to business profiles and human interest features. Mark also spent a year working for the regional publication Town and Country in northern Alberta, along with stints at the Ponoka News and the Stettler Independent. He’s thrilled to be a Todayville contributor, as it allows him many more opportunities to continue to focus on the city and community he not only has a passion for, but calls home as well.

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We’re Almost There! Building Campaign Announcement

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First off, I want to take a moment to thank you for following along in our journey, and being part of the solution for those children who have been impacted by a form of child abuse. Whether you have volunteered, donated, or have simply followed us and shared our content online, you have contributed in some way to making the world better and brighter for our children and families. Nothing that we have accomplished here has been without the support of our community. 

We have come a long way since we first opened in Downtown Red Deer. When we moved from downtown to our previous space it was a big step up. We had room for new and existing staff, and we were able to create a more comfortable space. But as the need for services has grown, and as we take on cases that require more integration with our partners, we had to shift our focus to a new space. Rather than simply moving into a larger existing space, we needed to create a place where we could work with all of our partners in one building. We needed a centre that had space for more clinical therapies, more room for forensic interviews, and that allowed us to look ahead with research and academic integration to help bring up the next generation of teachers, nurses, therapists, and more. We needed to build the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence! 

Creating the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence has been no small task. From concept and design, right through to painting the walls and grouting the tiles, every step has been meticulously planned out with the children in mind. On top of all of that, we have been working with our partners on ensuring that the space meets their needs. I’m proud to say that we’ve accomplished just that. Now, for example, if a child is having a forensic interview, and their parent or guardian needs support as well, they can get what they need all in one building.
The children we see have already been through unimaginable things, often at the hands of people they’re meant to trust. Our job is not only to take a statement, and connect families to other resources, but also to make our young clients feel as comfortable as possible. No child wants to discuss their trauma if they’re scared, uncomfortable, nervous, or intimidated. The space we bring them into needs to help them feel at ease, and we believe that is exactly what we have accomplished at the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence.
This has been our journey and our mission. Back in February, we announced our building campaign with a goal of raising $12 Million dollars. I am proud to tell you today that we are only $1.2 Million away from our $12 Million dollar fundraising goal! We have just 10% left to go in this campaign. Every dollar on top of that goal that we raise will help us pay for this building even faster, which means we can focus more of resources towards our services and creating new awareness and educational resources.
So this is what I’m asking you today; Please help us get over the finish line. Any donation today, even $10, will go a long way to helping those impacted by a form of child abuse. There are other ways to support us as well, including sharing this with your friends and family, or following us on social media and engaging with us there. It has taken a community to get us here, and it will take a community to take this to the end.

Together we can build the future so that every child can have a bright one! 

Please Donate Today
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Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis condemns MAiD in Parliament as targeting nation’s most vulnerable

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘I call upon with government to reverse its course and instead provide help and hope for Canadians suffering with mental health conditions’

Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis condemned the Trudeau government’s treatment of Canada’s most vulnerable, revealing that 36 Canadians are euthanized every day.  

On November 28, Dr. Leslyn Lewis, Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Haldimand-Norfolk, Ontario, addressed Parliament on the dangers of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), the euphemistic name for Canada’s euthanasia regime.

“The poor, homeless, the abused, veterans, seniors, youth, adults suffering with disabilities, those suffering with depressions, and mental health conditions,” Lewis said. “These are among the most vulnerable in our society that are falling through the cracks of Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying regime.”  

“They are the ones who will be at risk when the MAiD laws in Canada are expanded in March 2024,” the pro-life MP added. “Last year, death by euthanasia increased by 30 percent from the year before. Every day in Canada, 36 people use MAiD to end their lives, which is the highest in the world.” 

“I call upon with government to reverse its course and instead provide help and hope for Canadians suffering with mental health conditions,” Lewis appealed.    

On March 9, 2024, MAiD is set to expand to include those suffering solely from mental illness. This is a result of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which also allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for so-called doctor-assisted death.  

The mental illness expansion was originally set to take effect in March of this year. However, after massive pushback from pro-life groups, conservative politicians and others, the Liberals under Trudeau delayed the introduction of the full effect of Bill C-7 until 2024 via Bill C-39.

The expansion comes despite warnings from top Canadian psychiatrists that the country is “not ready” for the coming expansion of euthanasia to those who are mentally ill, saying expanding the procedure is not something “society should be doing” as it could lead to deaths under a “false pretense.” 

“Unfortunately, there is no reprieve in sight as think Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) becomes a national horror and the ‘professionals’ sharpen up their needles,” Ireland told LifeSiteNews. 

“We have reached the point where we must all protect each other from MAiD,” she noted. 

Euthanasia deaths have gone through the roof in Canada since it became legal in 2016. 

According to Health Canada, in 2022, 13,241 Canadians died by MAiD lethal injection, which is 4.1 percent of all deaths in the country for that year, and a 31.2 percent increase from 2021. 

The number of Canadians killed by lethal injection since 2016 now stands at 44,958.

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