On Monday, November 28th, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and and Associate Minister of Health, visited the new West Toronto Youth Hub to announce up to $18 million in funding for projects related to integrated mental health and substance use services for youth.
Minister Bennett was joined by Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Dr. Jo Henderson, Executive Director of YWHO and Director of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Dr. Samuel Weiss, Scientific Director of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and two youth with lived experience – Kester and Devon.
As part of this investment, CIHR is investing $1 million to establish a pan-Canadian “network of networks” known as the Integrated Youth Services Network of Networks (IYS-Net). An additional $15+ million will be provided by CIHR and philanthropic partners to expand IYS-Net across the country. Health Canada is also providing nearly $2 million in funding to CAMH to work with IYS-Net and other partners to develop an Integrated Youth Services National Data Framework and Infrastructure.
“Young people have always faced challenges as they deal with the changes in their lives. Over the past years, their mental health and substance use challenges have been exacerbated by the stresses and social disruption of the pandemic. Integrated Youth Services is a proven model that can lead to improved health outcomes. By supporting IYS-Net in its objective to bring together diverse services and perspectives from youth, care providers, partners, researchers, and people with lived and living experience will we ensure that all youth have the opportunity to receive the integrated care that they need to thrive, grow, and succeed.” – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
IYS-Net will be a collaborative effort between the Government of Canada, partners and researchers across provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities to help youth access the services they need. The initiative will create a network of learning health systems through which research evidence, data, and youths’ lived experience are used to inform processes, policies, and practices to improve health equity and service delivery.
The goal of the IYS National Data Framework and Infrastructure project is to collect consistent data across provincial IYS networks. This investment will establish common measures, evaluation frameworks, governance, and digital platform infrastructure. This work will contribute to improved understanding of youth service needs and outcomes, help build and test new services, and help services pivot more effectively when crises arise. The investment will also aid in the shaping of future IYS programs, including services designed specifically to meet the needs of marginalized youth.
“Youth and their families deserve access to high quality services that are co-designed with youth and families, and lead to positive and equitable outcomes for youth throughout Canada. IYS-Net will allow us to develop new and inclusive approaches to support youth effectively. The partnerships across government and philanthropy that have made these investments possible demonstrate a shared recognition of the critical importance of supporting youth to succeed and thrive. Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario is grateful for the vision of these partners and their commitment to youth and families.” – Dr. Jo Henderson, Executive Director, YWHO, and Director, CAMH’s Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth and Family Mental Health
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