bring hope and vitality to our communities, today and for the future.

Health & wellbeing

are essential to their development as young adults.

1 in 5

youth experience mental health and substance use challenges that affect their ability to thrive at home and school.

Now is the time

to reimagine health care for youth and their families in communities across BC.


we can make this happen.


A network of health services to meet the needs of our youth and young adults

The British Columbia Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BC-IYSI) seeks to improve access to mental health, substance use and primary care for youth and young adults (YYA) across BC. The BC-IYSI will support communities to establish youth-friendly, integrated, health and social service storefronts, and work alongside provincial online and phone line resources to strengthen a network of care for young British Columbians and their families.

1 in 0 youth aged 15 – 24 report mental ill-health or problematic substance use.
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.
0% of all mental ill-health or problematic substance use appears before the age of 25.


The purpose of this initiative is to support youth aged 12-24 with easy to access services including primary care, mental health, substance use, and social services, as well as youth and family navigation supports.
Download our background document

Our Principles

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.

Our Objectives


Create and establish the BC-IYSI Backbone Organization with the following functions: standards development, knowledge translation and mobilization, research, evaluation and common communication strategy.


In partnership with five BC communities, establish integrated health service centres, one located in each regional health authority.


Partner in the expansion of online, web-based and telephone resources for youth in urban, rural and remote sites, all integrated within a stepped care model and with a common communication strategy including branding.


Facilitate evaluation, quality improvement and research that will be embedded into all services, providing real-time performance feedback in order to support scaling and expansion of the system of care.


Develop a youth public health strategy for the province of BC, in partnership with the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC).

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.

Integrated Service Centres

The BC-IYSI centres will be “one-stop” storefronts, non-stigmatizing and youth-friendly, with accessible hours and preferably located on transit routes. The centres will be linked through a branded network marketed to young people aged 12 to 24, in combination with province-wide anti-stigma and awareness campaigns.

The Backbone Organization will invite expressions of interest from across the province and will select 5 applicants to lead the Integrated Service Centres. These applicants will receive a one-time grant to support their efforts to build the centres. In return, lead agencies and their partners will be expected, as members of the BC-IYSI network, to provide standardized services based on core care principles and practices. The BC-IYSI and its partners will support the centres to obtain sustainable funding and provide continuous performance feedback via an embedded evaluation strategy.

Core Services

Primary Care
Mental Health Services
Substance Use Services
Social Services
Youth and Family

Ancillary Services (not an exhaustive list)

  • Financial Literacy & Skill Development
  • Recreation
  • Food Security
  • Child Care & Transportation
  • Legal Aid
  • Clinical Navigator

Granville Youth Health Centre

Granville Youth Health Centre, an example of Integrated Youth Health Services in BC, offers core and ancillary services (like those listed above) in a youth friendly space reflecting the community that it serves.

Located on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, the Granville Youth Health Centre offers a “one-stop” storefront for youth.
The Granville Youth Health Centre space is youth-friendly and inviting, and the offers a non-stigmatizing approach to care.
The Inner City Youth team worked with staff, physicians and clients to create a look and feel for the clinic.
The Granville Youth Health Centre offers primary care as well as mental health and substance use care.
At the Centre, youth can also access a wide array of integrated services, such as groups and clubs, learn about life skills such as cooking, and get help with housing, unemployment, or education.

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.

Next Steps

There will be two parts to the Expression of Interest (EOI) process. Part 1 is the application process for all interested sites. Part 2 is the convening process for short-listed applicants.

Part 1 — Expression of Interest deadline: January 29, 2016 by 4 pm

Shortlist announcement Winter 2016

Part 2 — Convening Submission Spring 2016

One community in each health region of the province will be selected.


Expression of Interest (EOI) Results

We received a tremendous response to the EOI, with 25 submissions from across the province. Each demonstrated a strong commitment and passion to improving youth mental health. We appreciate that developing the EOI 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 youth and young adults. After extensive review by an interdisciplinary panel, we are delighted to announce that the following applications will move into the convening phase of the process. Read results

  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (North Shore)
  • Richmond Addictions Services Society (Richmond)
  • CMHA - Kelowna & District Branch (Kelowna)
  • Kamloops Society for Alcohol & Drug Services - Phoenix Centre (Kamloops)
  • Penticton & District Community Resources Society (Penticton/South Okanagan Similkameen Region)
  • YMCA of Northern British Columbia (Prince George)
  • Prince Rupert Community Enrichment Society/North Coast Community Services (Prince Rupert)
  • The John Howard Society of North Island (Campbell River)
  • Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre (Nanaimo)
  • Victoria Youth Clinic (Victoria)
  • Abbotsford Community Services (Abbotsford)
  • Alexandra Neighbourhood House (White Rock/South Surrey)
  • Lower Mainland Purpose Society (Burnaby/New Westminster)

These applicants will move into the convening phase of the process to develop a more detailed proposal and plan. At the end of the convening phase, five applicants (one from each health authority) will be selected to establish an integrated youth centre with BC-IYSI support. This is expected to be announced in Spring 2016.

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