As community health coordinator, Kangata says he is responsible for assisting the Queens Community Health Board with its day-to-day operations. A health promoter by trade, one of Kangata’s major roles will be health planning.
“Somebody who seeks to address health concerns,” says Kangata, describing the role of health promotions work.
As for the Teen Access Zone, in Queens Place Emera Centre, Kangata will be working with the teens to coordinate activities and events.
Kangata and his wife moved from Somaliland to Mahone Bay about two years ago.
He and his wife worked for a non-governmental-organization coordinating health management information systems in Somaliland.
“So, working with the government to put in place a system for data collection, analysis and use in the health sector,” he says.
Teen Access services
The Teen Access Zone offers a number of services.
Local physician Dr. Norah Mogan offers sexual health clinics. Health counsellor Mary Frier offers counselling focusing on, among other things, addictions, mental health, anxiety and depression. A clinical dietician also visits the zone regularly.
In addition to sexual and mental health services, there are physical activity programs such as yoga and ice-skating.
If teens just want to come in to lounge, surf the Internet or play an active game on the Xbox, those options are also available.
The Teen Access Zone is open in the afternoons from about 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
“But we’re looking to expand that,” says Kangata.
This means the Teen Access Zone will need volunteers who can come in after 4:30 p.m.
“Adults who are willing and able to interact with teens,” says Kangata about potential volunteers.
He says the Teen Access Zone is looking for as many volunteers as possible.
Queens Youth Health Centre Association
“It’s a group of organizations that have an interest and representatives from those organizations,” says Kangata.
The association runs the Teen Access Zone by paying rent and paying for activities, among other things.
The association is meeting in the community room at Queens Place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28 to encourage people to become involved.
Youth Advisory Committee
“It is run by teens for teens,” says Kangata about the zone.
The Youth Advisory Committee has seven members, all high school students. Kangata says the committee would like members from the junior high school.
“We’re also interested in teens who might not be in the school system,” he says.
Jessie Clattenburg and Alicia Ingersoll are two students on the committee.
“I decided to get involved with it because it was my Grade 12 year and the volunteer experience would be great,” says Clattenburg. “Also I think that we really need a lot of teens involved to get the place going.”
The committee began meeting in October and has so far done a few things, such as planning the open house that took place last Friday afternoon. Members have also been painting bricks that are on the brightly painted walls and the committee planned yoga.
Clattenburg and Ingersoll say the Teen Access Zone is good to have and provides a safe environment for teens to hang out.
Ingersoll says she thinks it’s important to get younger teens involved in the community, and that’s something she would like to work on.
“I’d like to see a lot more kids get involved,” says Clattenburg about the Teen Access Zone’s future.
Since the zone opened last March, advertising has begun to improve, say Clattenburg and Ingersoll. More posters are going up in the schools to let people know what’s happening.
Committee members meet Tuesdays at 2:15 p.m. for about an hour and a half.
Because four of the members are in Grade 12 and will be gone next school year, the committee is eager to get junior high participants.
Youth Advisory Committee members:
Jessie Clattenburg (Grade 12)
Alicia Ingersoll (Grade 12
Jayme Jesso (Grade 10)
Jacob Mooers (Grade 10)
Kaitlin Scott (Grade 12)
Brandon Whynot (Grade 12)
Robyn Whynot (Grade 11)
Teen Health Clinic: Nov. 29 between 2 and 4 p.m. and Dec. 13 between 2 and 4 p.m.
(These are drop-in sessions.)
Teen Sexual Health Clinic: Nov. 30 between 2 and 4 p.m. and Dec. 14 between 2 and 4 p.m.
Teen Yoga Class: Friday afternoons from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. – Nov. 30 to Dec. 21.
(Participants have to register and a waiver has to be completed.)
For information about the Teen Access Zone, visit https://www.facebook.com/TeenAccessZone?fref=ts or call 902-354-5508.