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Vancouver Community’s Child & Youth Mental Health & Substance Use Strategy

Our goal is to develop an evidenced based child and youth mental health and substance use strategy in Vancouver that provides streamlined and equitable access to services and quality care. This strategy will enhance integration and improve system navigation to deliver health promotion and intervention services along a  continuum that matches service intensity to a client and family’s health needs.

We strive to build a system where public health, primary care, mental health and substance use programs work together as an interdisciplinary team to improve outcomes for children, youth and their families requiring these services. It is anticipated the service location(s) will offer a variety of access models with extended hours to meet client need (e.g. outreach, walk-in services).

About the strategy

  • VCH-Vancouver Community is committed to providing a welcoming, safe, responsive and integrated health care system built on strong connections between care providers, children and youth (0 - 24 years old) and their families to promote wellness and ensure excellence in care.

  • We are currently undertaking a review of all our VCH-provided and contracted child and youth services across Vancouver and have started the redesign work necessary to better meet the mental health and substance use service needs of our young clients and their families.

  • The new service delivery model will provide the benefits of more streamlined, easier navigation of health services for our clients and families, in addition to creating more access to care with extended hours for clients when and where they need it.

  • The new model will also provide evidence-based, culturally-safe, trauma-informed care that will build upon the strengths of the client and their family.

  • The focus of the new model will also be on prevention, early intervention and harm reduction strategies in order to improve future outcomes.

  • The new model will also create improved transitions for youth entering adult MHSU health services.

  • Implementation is expected to begin in the community by fall 2017.

  • This is not a cost-cutting exercise. This work is about better meeting the health needs of our clients and their families.

Youth Intensive Case Management Team

Our new Youth Intensive Case Management Team (YICMT) is a multidisciplinary, integrated team that 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. 

Tupper Nova - A partnership that works for youth

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Extended Hours for Child & Youth mental Health & Substance Use Support

List of Vancouver clinics offering extended hours for child & youth mental health & substance use support services.

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More information

Community Engagement consultation

From March to July 2017, VCH held a consultation process with CYMHSU stakeholders to better understand the issues and hear ideas for how we could improve. Almost two-hundred people across Vancouver, including youth, parents/guardians, teachers, clinicians, partner organizations and our frontline staff attended. Stakeholder feedback was considered, along with current research and VCH’s own data, to develop the actions contained in the draft CYMHSU strategy. To learn more about the process and findings, download the CYMHSU public engagement report.

SOURCE: Vancouver Community’s Child & Youth Mental Health & Substance Use Strategy ( )
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