“A team like this will give hope to youth who feel they can’t survive in this world.”
– Breezy, Youth Peer (shown right)
The dictionary defines team work as the collaborative effort of a group of interdependent individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. That is certainly the case with our new Youth Intensive Case Management Team (YICMT).
“One of the many new initiatives launching for youth under our Child and Youth Strategy, the YICMT has now begun to serve youth in need in Vancouver,” says Lizzy Ambler, VC Director for Public Health and Child and Youth MHSU. “This multidisciplinary, integrated team will serve youth who are the most in need of intensive, wrap around services for complex and chronic health needs, including mental health and substance use issues.”
Adds Ambler, “The YICMT will provide comprehensive care in order to support youth towards better health outcomes and will be pivotal in engaging youth to take that first step towards accessing the services they need.”
The team consists of a team leader, intake clinicians, concurrent disorder clinicians, Nurse Practitioners and an Elder. “This team approach means more support for the youth – instead of having one clinician at one location, they will have access to a number of different professionals all working together,” says Emily Giguere, Clinical Planner, Youth Substance use and Prevention Services, VC. “Our Nurse Practitioners will play a key role in ensuring youth are not lost to care but continue to be connected to the services and programs they need for as long as they need them.”
The Elder will provide traditional cultural teachings, including talking circles and smudging, for staff and clients.
“There are different problems out there now compared to what an older generation faced,” adds Breezy. “We need a new approach for these new problems. This team gives that new approach.”
“YICMT will also have the ability to go where the youth are at; in fact, the goal is for the team to follow the youth as they go,” adds Giguere.
The YICMT is part of the Vancouver Community Child and Youth Strategy. The first step was to review all VCH-provided and contracted child and youth services across Vancouver that provide prevention, early intervention, treatment and aftercare in order to better meet the mental health and addiction service needs of clients (0-24) and their families. Phase 1 included developing an overall strategy and conducting extensive stakeholder engagement. Phase 2 is about implementing key priorities that came out of the Vancouver Community Child and Youth Strategy.
“We have implemented a number of the initiatives,” says Ambler. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure our youth feel connected and supported throughout their journey to recovery.”
For more information on the overall strategy, please visit our webpage.
Watch the video on our Three New Youth Homes - also part of the Child and Youth strategy - and see other articles of interest as well.