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Barrie high school students supporting youth mental health agency

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Students at a Barrie High School put their talents towards making sure resources are available for their friends in need.

On Monday evening, Eastview Secondary School held its first 'Coffeehouse' night since 2019. The evenings provide an outlet for the school's music students to showcase their talents while also serving as a fundraiser for a community charity.

"Eastview has been holding coffeehouses for a long time as a way to celebrate the musical talent within the school and give artists a safe and more comfortable, low-key environment to express themselves and share their art with other people," says Cara Lintack, the student event organizer.

The Coffeehouse nights have been put on hold throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds from Monday's event will go towards New Path Youth & Family Services, the lead agency for youth mental health in Simcoe County.

"I think that it speaks to the good partnerships that New Path has developed with schools in the communities as school-based services are some of the services that we offer," says Kelsey Kapteyn, a teen and parent success councillor with New Path. "I think it just speaks to the need for child and youth mental health services, and to have students identify that as a need is really neat."

New Path provides various mental health services for kids 0 to 18, with branches in Orillia, Barrie, Bradford, Alliston, Cookstown and Collingwood.

Donations from fundraisers go towards helping advance available support, a cause the student organizers found important to support.

"I thought it would be really good to donate the funds to this organization because this is a hard time of year for a lot of kids, it being winter, it being exam season, so there's a lot of things going on, and I just wanted to give back to my community and give back to my peers and be able to support my peers," says Lintack.

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