Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative in the Shuswap

The Interior Health Authority along with Doctors of BC and the ministries of Health, Education and Child and Family Development are co-leading a Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative.

The Collaborative is made up of Shuswap/North Okanagan area family doctors, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, school counsellors, addiction counsellors, First Nations advocates, parents, youth, RCMP officers, health administrators, and others.For the purpose of this Collaborative the maximum age is 19 years or up to ages 19-25 for young people who still have an active Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) file.

The purpose of the Collaborative is to share knowledge and experience with the aim of increasing the number of children, youth and their families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports in the interior health region.

In Salmon Arm/Shuswap, the Action Team is putting together an inventory list for local physicians to use when seeing a child/youth and their family in their offices. GPs are often the first to be approached when a mental health issue arises and have continuing relationships with families. This list will give GP’s community resources at their fingertips that they can contact or provide the youth/family member when they need additional services or support, without necessarily doing an intake thru Child and Youth Mental Health.

A communication strategy is being developed to let families know about the resources and supports available to them if their child or youth seems to be having some challenges with their mental health or substance abuse. The monthly ads and press releases will include stories from the field – sharing and learning within the Collaborative, specifically from families and what has worked for them.

May 7th – National Child & Youth Mental Health Day:

This national awareness day, seeks to help create public awareness and acknowledgement of the thousands of children, youth and families needing mental health support and care across Canada. Led by the Institute of Families in cooperation with partners across the country, in 2013, the day was given a theme “I care about you” and 130 sites participated.

In Salmon Arm, there will be events in various school sites, as well as displays and information May 5 – 9 at Piccadilly Mall, The Shuswap Family Resource Centre and Downtown Activity Centre.

For more information contact Monica at 250-833-6100


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