Transforming youth mental health care in a semi-urban and rural region of Canada: A service description of ACCESS Open Minds Chatham-Kent.

TitleTransforming youth mental health care in a semi-urban and rural region of Canada: A service description of ACCESS Open Minds Chatham-Kent.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsReaume-Zimmer P, Chandrasena R, Malla A, Joober R, Boksa P, Shah JL, Iyer SN, Lal S
JournalEarly Interv Psychiatry
Volume13 Suppl 1
Date Published2019 06

AIM: This study describes how mental health services for youth are being transformed within the context of a semi-urban and rural region of Canada (Chatham-Kent, Ontario), based on the framework of ACCESS Open Minds (ACCESS OM), a pan-Canadian youth mental health research and evaluation network.METHODS: Transformation has focused on the five key objectives of ACCESS OM, namely early identification, rapid access, appropriate care, continuity of care, and youth and family engagement. A community mapping process was conducted at the beginning of the transformation to help develop a comprehensive inventory of services, identify challenges and optimize partnerships to address the five key objectives.RESULTS: The following strategies represent key elements in the transformation: coordination and partnerships between hospital, community and voluntary organizations, as well as different sectors of the community (e.g., Child and Youth Services, Education, Community Safety and Correctional Services, CSCS); working with local champions (e.g., Youth Diversion Officer and the Mental Health and Addictions Nurse in the school sectors); establishing a youth-friendly space in a central part of the community, where services are co-located and operate within an open-concept design; training of ACCESS Clinicians to conduct an initial assessment; engaging youth and family in service-level recruitment, planning, daily operations, and evaluation, including hiring of youth and family peer navigators; and, engaging the community through awareness and educational events.CONCLUSIONS: The success of this transformation needs to be measured on various outcome parameters, but it is notable that neighbouring communities are already beginning to implement a similar model.

Alternate JournalEarly Interv Psychiatry
PubMed ID31243909
Grant List / / CIHR / Canada
/ / Graham Boeckh Foundation / International

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