50 years and counting

We measure success by how far a youth has come, not by how far they must go.

OUR YOUTH WORK HARD TO OVERCOME CHALLENGING ISSUES AT A YOUNG AGE. EACH IS UNIQUE, AND EACH TREATMENT MILESTONE THEY REACH IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION. 

The Roberts/Smart Centre is often referred to as the last line of defense for youth living with complex mental health and behavioral challenges.

Most of our youth come from the Ottawa area, but many travel from across the province, as we are one of only a few treatment centres for youth in Ontario.

In fact, by the time a youth reaches us, they have often accessed 40 or more different mental health services.

Regardless of where their journey started, all of our youth have one thing in common. Their lives are a struggle and they need a safe place and specialized treatment to help them heal.

It’s for this very reason that, 50 years ago, a group of individuals, including Dr. Roberts and Mr. Smart, came together to start what is now known as the Roberts/Smart Centre.

Much has certainly changed over the past 50 years. We now lead an anti-human trafficking program for youth, because alarmingly, Ottawa has the second highest rate of human trafficking in Canada.

But one thing that hasn’t changed, is our belief that when youth can access the mental health supports that they need, it can change the course of their lives.

Our treatment programs provide a safe place to call home while they develop skills to help them cope, despite the adversity in their lives, until they are ready to transition home and back to the community.

Support for parents and families is equally important because caring for young people with complex mental health issues, who feel very negative about themselves and their futures, can really take a toll.

Programs like therapeutic camping offer youth a chance to see staff through a different lens – to build relationships and trust – to develop life skills in an environment where they feel a sense of belonging and can contribute.

We also know that because students do not leave their mental health at the front door when they go to school, school-based mental health programs provide a tremendous boost for youth striving to realize academic success on their own terms.

Life throws a lot of curve balls at our kids these days, and so it’s important to equip them with tools to help them handle stress, to make healthy choices, to feel better about themselves.  Because how our kids feel about themselves affects their worldview, and impacts how they interact with others, whether at home, in school, at work or in the community.

As RSC enters its next fifty-year chapter, it does so with a renewed commitment to improve the lives of youth at-risk in our community.

We invite you to join us in helping to ensure that the Roberts/Smart Centre can continue to provide youth with the support that they need in the way that they need it – for the next fifty years 

Stories that inspire

HEAVY BURDEN

When S. arrived at the Roberts/Smart Centre he had a backpack full of emotional and behavioural issues.

LEARNING TO BE HEALTHY 

K. knows that it takes a lot of work to pull yourself back up when you don’t feel like you belong. The Roberts/Smart Centre helped teach her that she is the person who writes her own story.

AN EDUCATION AND HELPING OTHERS 

C. was 14 years old when placed at the Roberts/Smart Centre—feeling hopeless. With the help of the staff, they began to see value in themself again and gained hope.

 

Need More Information?

For more information about how to support our work, please contact:

Manager of Development and Community Engagement

104-1737 Woodward Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0C9

613-728-1946 ext. 616