A network of health and social services to meet the needs of our youth and young adults
The British Columbia Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BC-IYSI) will transform how youth and young adults access health and social services within BC.
*young people under the age of 24 sought help for mental ill-health or problematic substance use services in British Columbia (2012-13)
* Source: Health Sector Information, Analytics and Reporting, Ministry of Health, 2015.
The BC-IYSI is a provincial movement of community agencies, government, donors, young people and families coming together to transform systems. Currently, the BC-IYSI involves over 70 partnerships across the province dedicated to empowering our young people. Together, we will change the way young people access health and social services across British Columbia.
Young people experience higher rates of mental illness and substance use than any other age group, and may face challenges in accessing the services they need to improve their wellbeing. By bringing together core services and supports, the BC-IYSI will support youth aged 12-24 and their families with easy access to care. Whether a young person needs support for anxiety or depression, wants to see a family doctor or is struggling with a stressful situation, we will help them get the services they need.
Working with our partners, we will establish a branded network of “one-stop shop” youth centres, including the prototype site at the Granville Youth Health Centre. These centres will offer health, counselling, mental health, substance use and social supports, as well as youth and family support and navigation. We will also work with partners to help integrate and build on existing provincial online and telephone resources to strengthen a network of care for young British Columbians and their families, regardless of where they live.
The BC-IYSI is committed to working with youth, families, and community organizations, as well as government officials to meet our stated objectives. Our guiding principles include:
- A comprehensive system of care ensures that health promotion, prevention and early intervention are core components of our services.
- Services need to be timely, accessible, developmentally appropriate, socially inclusive and equitable, and culturally sensitive, congruent, and safe.
- Services are youth- and family-centred, collaborative and empowering to both.
- Integration of services should occur through intentional partnerships and collaborative inter-sectorial working relationships, with special attention on the actual process of integration.
- All services should be evidence- and trauma-informed and effective.
Background: A need identified
September 2014 - Transforming Access to Health and Social Services for Transition-Aged Youth (12-25) in British Columbia was submitted to the Select Standing Committee (SSC) on Children and Youth. The proposal called for a branded network of integrated health and social service centres across the province, as well as a framework for continuing research and evaluation.
February 2015 - In 2015, Ministry of Health released Primary and Community Care in BC: A Strategic Policy Framework, outlining the need to establish community-based services that are integrated, comprehensive, and “wrap around” the patient. The aim of this strategic shift is to transform a system focused mainly on acute hospital care to a proactive system of primary and community care built to address changing client/patient needs early and more effectively, utilizing a collaborative team-based model.
June 2015 - The BC- IYSI Working Group was formed to develop an implementation plan for the prototype, 5 centre phase. The Working Group membership included multiple stakeholders and representatives from health operations and government ministries.
July 2015 - MCFD completes its research review draft, Designing Mental Health Service Delivery to Better Meet the Needs of Youth. This review focused on approaches and promising practices in the literature and from other jurisdictions. The review is intended as a core resource informing discussions on improvement of integrated, community-oriented mental health service delivery for YYA in the province.
October 2015 -
Establishing a System of Care for People Experiencing MHSU Issues (draft) is released by the Ministry of Health. The document envisions the cornerstone of health services across the province to be the establishment of “primary care homes” that include full service family practice and specific MHSU services.
The BC-Integrated Youth Services Initiative is launched.
December 2015 - An Expression of Interest for community applications for a BC-IYSI Centre was launched.
February 2016 - Twenty-five communities from across British Columbia submitted their application. After review by an interdisciplinary panel, 13 communities were invited to create a detailed proposal for an integrated youth health and social services centre.
June 2016 - The 13 proposals were reviewed by an independent, interdisciplinary panel, which included representation from family, youth, provincial government, health authorities, frontline health workers, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, and national bodies including the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The final decision was incredibly difficult as the quality of proposals was high. The communities that were selected for this first phase are: Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George, North Shore and Abbotsford.
What is an Integrated Health and Social Service Centre?
While communities have several services for young people, and many passionate individuals dedicated to helping them, it can still be very challenging for young people and their families to know where to go for the help they need. We have heard the frustration of trying to find “the right service” and of having to “retell my story.”
The BC-IYSI and our over 70 partners want to transform this experience by bringing existing services together in one place. The centres will be “one-stop” storefronts, non-stigmatizing, and designed with youth input so they don’t have a traditional clinical look and feel. They will have accessible hours and be on popular transit routes. The centres will be co-branded, marketed to young people aged 12 to 24, and supported by province-wide anti-stigma and awareness campaigns.
We believe in a holistic approach, meaning we won’t focus on one area of support, such as mental health or primary health care. Instead, we will bring together multiple that young people need. Whether someone visits one of our centres for a general health need, for support with coping with stress and anxiety, or any other health issue, they will also have access to all the other services within the centre. Providing health services that are co-located or integrated with social services, builds on the determinants of health, leading to resilience and wellness—the ultimate goals of care.
We will reduce barriers and waitlists by working in one supportive, safe place. Care and supports will be delivered in a stepped care model, meaning the level of service will be matched to the level of need. This way resources are used in the most efficient and effective way.
Our care teams will work together to provide a safe, non-judgmental space and empower young people with the care, tools and strategies they need to thrive in life.
Youth and Family Centred Care
Granville Youth Health Centre
The Granville Youth Health Centre is our first example of a “one-stop shop” centre in BC. We offer a variety of health and social services in a youth friendly space reflecting the community that we serve. The new BC-IYSI Centres are inspired by the Granville Youth Health Centre.
How you can help
Help us create storefront centres throughout BC, so our young people can thrive!
Each dollar you give leverages at least $10 more from our partners.
Donate today through St. Paul’s Foundation – one of our fundraising partners. 100% of your donation will go to the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative.
Convening Phase Results
After a rigorous six month process, five communities have been selected based on their leadership and strength of their partnerships. All submissions submitted demonstrated a strong commitment and passion to improving youth mental health. We appreciate that developing the submissions required a significant commitment of time and energy, and thank all organizations and communities for their dedication to improving the lives of British Columbia's young people. Read results
We will be working with these five communities to establish new integrated youth health and social service centres:
- Campbell River, Island Health
Working with the John Howard Society of North Island
- Prince George, Northern Health
Working with the YMCA of Northern BC
- North Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health
Working with Vancouver Coastal Health
- Abbotsford, Fraser Health
Working with Abbotsford Community Services
- Kelowna, Interior Health
Working with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna Branch