Redesigning VCH-Vancouver Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) services

“Improving access and outcomes for children and youth is the driving force behind the redesign.” Lizzy Ambler, Operations Director, Public Health, CYMHSU.

Over the next 18 months, our Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use services will be redesigned. The goal is to build a system where public health, primary care, mental health and substance use program staff and physicians work together as an interdisciplinary team to improve outcomes for children, youth and their families. “We also plan to have the service locations offer a variety of access models with extended hours to meet the needs of our clients, such as outreach and walk-in services,” adds Ambler.

The new model will include evidence-based, culturally-safe, trauma-informed care that builds on the strengths of the client and their family. The team will look for improvements along the continuum of care including prevention/promotion, early intervention and treatment for children and youth. This will also include improving transitions for youth entering adult MHSU health services.

As part of the redesign phase, VCH Vancouver Community will be engaging with community partners, clients and their families, as well as staff and physicians. Sessions with community partners, and clients and their families were held earlier this week. Both sessions reinforced the need for a focus on prevention, providing earlier intervention, improving transitions, and meeting youth where they’re at, to name a few. The client and family session echoed community partner input by identifying the need for improved access to our services and supports. Further engagement sessions will take place over the course of redesign planning.

The team hopes to start implementing the new model in the fall of this year.

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