Why “Waiting For Change”? In 2015 the Youth Action Committee members drew from their own personal experiences and stories told to them by other youth, that child and youth mental health wait lists were extremely long and was impacting their overall well-being. In response, the YAC hosted its inaugural Youth Mental Health Summit, Waiting for Change. The goal of the summit was to engage youth in the creation of specific policy recommendations to improve wait times for mental health services and to better support, children, youth and families when they are unable to access the treatment they need.
After two years of collecting stories and youth-led recommendations from other young people across the province to address the issue of wait times in the child and youth mental health system on Monday, November 21, our provincial Youth Action Committee released its first zine, Waiting for Change! This zine outlines four recommendations for how we can make change happen: two ideas to shorten wait times and two ideas for helping youth manage while they wait for services.
This Zine was written by the members of the 2016 Youth Action Committee and informed by the youth of Ontario.
We would like to thank the members of the 2015 and 2016 Youth Action Committee, Amanda, Travis, Nicole, Sabrina, Matt, Zara, Cherish, Shannon, and Beth for dedicating their time, energy and passion to this project.
We would also like to thank the attendees of the 2015 Waiting For Change Youth Summit, Disable the Label 2016 participants, and all the other young people who shared their voice and ideas to improve wait times in Ontario. Finally, we would like to thank Children’s Mental Health Ontario for supporting the Youth Action Committee’s vision for this project.