New Fredericton sensory room will provide access to therapeutic resources for young patients with mental health concerns  

All New Brunswickers deserve accessible and quality health care and a positive patient experience, and this initiative is one example of how Horizon is committed to providing that every day.

From left: Jennifer Little, Regional Director Child and Youth Services, Horizon Health Network, Health Minister Bruce Fitch, Charles A. Diab, CEO of The Chalmers Foundation

(FREDERICTON) – A new sensory clinic in Fredericton, featuring a dedicated space to help address sensory processing concerns, will provide invaluable support to children, youth, and their family members, increasing access to mental health care and improving the overall patient experience.

Sensory rooms are equipped with various sensory tools, such as soothing lights, calming music, and sensory toys, helping individuals, particularly those with sensory processing difficulties, learn how to regulate their sensory experiences and emotions.

“Sensory rooms are spaces specifically designed to provide a controlled and comfortable environment to stimulate the senses in a therapeutic manner,” said Rachel Boehm, Horizon’s Executive Regional Director Addiction and Mental Health. “They are a valuable resource for individuals living with anxiety, autism and a variety of other conditions. Prioritizing accessibility, safety, and comfort, it will play a crucial role in improving care for individuals with sensory processing difficulties and will serve as a practical and therapeutic resource, promoting better understanding, self-regulation, and overall mental well-being for children and youth.”

Operating out of Horizon’s Victoria Health Centre, this new clinic space includes the sensory room, as well as space for therapeutic group sessions and office space for the clinic’s Occupational Therapists.

Staff will offer multi-day sessions to an estimated 100 children and youth in its first year of operation. Sessions will include comprehensive overviews of sensory processing and tactics to identify specific patterns and targeted group sessions that address the impact of sensory processing on daily activities. The program will also offer resources to families to help address sensory issues at home.

The clinic was funded in part by The Chalmers Foundation through their Health and Wellness initiative, which grants funding for innovative and high-impact initiatives outside of Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.

“Since 2017, the Chalmers Foundation has granted over $100,000 to fund Health and Wellness initiatives, which have funded several projects, including the sensory clinic,” said Charles A. Diab, CEO of The Chalmers Foundation. “We have funded several initiatives related to mental health, and on behalf of myself and the Board of Directors, we offer sincere thanks to the Horizon employees who go above and beyond to identify and implement these projects and to our donors who believe in our mission of supporting healthy, caring communities.”

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