Midori Campos got a swell start to her new role as a child and youth wellness support worker for north-end Haida Gwaii.
Over three days in January, Campos helped out at an all-island teen retreat at the Hiellen Longhouse Campground, where alomst 40 youth learned to surf, cycled the beach, heard from special guests and hung out by the campfire.
Easy-going waves rolled in. One day a rainbow arced the sky right overhead.
“It was so perfect,” Campos says.
Between community events like the teen retreat and her time working at Tahayghen Elementary, Port Clements Elementary, and Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary, Campos has spent much of her first month in the new role just getting to know the students.
“That’s a huge thing for my position,” Campos said.
“Right now, it’s about listening to students, listening to staff — what do you need, and how can I support that?”
While Campos works for the Haida Gwaii School District, the year-round position is funded by B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development and includes a lot of work outside the schools, including family outreach and running child and youth programs over the spring and summer school breaks.
“I’m really lucky to have a more flexible position,” she said.
Campos keeps an open-door policy at her office at GTN, and recently started a lunch-time girls group focused on mental health and wellness. She works with school counsellors, helps students who are graduating from Chief Matthews Elementary to Tahayghen or to GTN, and will be a point-person for the school district at the monthly Community Coordination meetings for all social services in northern Haida Gwaii.
Before moving to Masset for the support worker position, Campos worked for the south-end Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative and the B.C. Schizophrenia Society.
Mental health is something that has long interested Campos, who studied kinesiology and psychology at the University of Victoria.
It was during her student years in Victoria that Campos volunteered to help a man with autism — an experience that inspired her career so far.
“He became such a close person in my life, him and his whole family,” she said.
“It’s opened me to the mental-health world, and I love it.”
To contact Campos, email email@example.com.