Youth Ministries

Teens and almost teens

Highlights of OMGjr retreat 2011

Above: Barbara Robertson, who helped organize and convene the OMGjr weekend at Temple Pastures in early November, outlines its focus and some of the good things that happened. Seventeen teenagers from seven different churches lived, played, learned, laughed, and prayed together. .

  • A presentation by Barbara Robertson about all the ways we communicate in our homes and schools and lives
  • Many, many group games
  • A conversation with Dr. Gail Beck, a top youth psychiatrist, about the difference between anxiety and depression, the best ways to calm ourselves down (sports, music, nature, prayer) when we are anxious, and who to turn to when we know someone who is depressed (see crisis support list below)
  • Lots and lots of good food and snacks
  • A drumming workshop with Luke Simoneau
  • Painting, drawing, Gelliart printing, fabric work, rosary beading
  • Outdoor "wide" games and late night conversations
  • Evening prayer, simple and quiet, by candlelight
  • A conversation with Steve Sibbald about bullying, where it comes from, why it is such a great problem, how it differs from teasing, what we can do when it happens to us
  • Preparing for worship at Church of the Good Shepherd in Wakefield - some read scripture, others developed tableaux vivants for the "Bridesmaids" gospel, five compiled and voiced prayers of the people

Crisis support for youth, as recommended by Dr. Gail Beck
Distressed youth should turn first to a parent. When children are depressed and despairing, she attests, parents (even ones who tend to be inattentive) drop everything and help. If this is not possible, however, they should turn to an adult they trust, who could well be the counselor on staff or on call at their school. All schools in the Ottawa board have a mental health counselor, and her network of principals assure her their children all know who that person is.

Other local supports include:
Ottawa Distress Centre 613-238-3311
Youth Services Bureau Crisis 613-260-2360
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
Sexual Assault Support Centre 613-234-2266
Tel-Aide Outaouais 1-800-567-9699
Young Women's Shelter 613-789-8220
Operation Go Home 1-800-668-4663
Rape Crisis Line 613-562-2333
CHEO Crisis Intervention 613-737-7600


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