Youth mental health
- 20% of young Canadians experience mental health problems and 80% of them do not receive services
- Schools and youth centres are pivotal actors in youth mental health
- Many family doctors consider their youth mental health training to be deficient
- There is little data on collaborative care models in youth mental health
Improving the accessibility and quality of care in youth mental health requires complex links among young people’s different living environments and a consideration of the particularities of socially and culturally distinct communities.
In the last decade, the government of Québec implemented a major reform intended to improve the accessibility and quality of mental healthcare by strengthening the primary care resources. The Mental Health Action Plan (Plan d’action en santé mentale 2005-2010 – PASM) is a reform calling for the different actors involved to network in a spirit of partnership.
Now it is necessary to evaluate these new services to determine to what degree they are beneficial to young people and their families and what essential changes need to be made.
The research program entitled “Collaborative care in youth mental health” consists of distinct projects. Axis I projects examine the role partnership plays in the quality of youth mental health services. Axis II projects evaluate training models focused on collaborative care. Finally, a community of practice facilitates collaboration between the healthcare professionals in primary care intervening with youth and their families in the Montreal area. The evaluation of the implantation of this community of practice and its impact is currently underway
AXIS I: Partnership and the quality of collaborative care
AXIS II: Continuous training and interinstitutional / interprofessional partnerships: schools, youth centres and family doctors
The community of practice
The objectives of the community of practice are: 1- to facilitate networking among professionals involved in frontline youth mental health; 2- to promote tool- and knowledge-sharing and 3- to provide a space for exchange and mutual support through various modalities. The community of practice numbers over 150 members from nine « youth mental health » and « troubled youth » teams in the Montreal area.
An online platform supports the activities of the community of practice. The platform includes a members-only section (discussion forums). Many sections are open to everyone and allow access to a whole set of resources (podcasts, articles, links of interest, fact sheets on the practice community’s activities, etc.). The practice community’s address is communauté-smj.sherpa-research.com.