On Sunday, November 22 our Youth Action Committee in partnership with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health hosted our first Youth Mental Health Summit! The Summit engaged youth in the creation of specific policy recommendations for government about how to improve wait times for mental health services and how to support children, youth, and families when they are unable to access the treatment they need.
Recommendations coming out of the youth summit include developing a strategy that brings government and children’s mental health centres together to support children, youth and families while they wait for services by facilitating:
- Peer-to-peer and family support groups with appropriate levels of staff supervision and training, to help young people and their caregivers assist one another while waiting
- Temporary counseling resources to help children and youth while they wait for longer-term care, including walk-in clinics, immediate access to a counselor for initial sessions, and drop-in group programs;
- Individual plans to keep children and youth safe while they wait for services, including suggestions of positive coping mechanisms, numbers to call in a crisis, and information about local grassroots support groups and community activities
Youth attending also recognize the huge need for funding to ensure improved access to programs and support.
The Youth Action Committee will be completing a report and making formal policy recommendations to the government in the upcoming year. The report will include even more recommendations from the Youth Summit so be sure to keep your eye out for it!