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GBF Newsletter 7.4
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April 2022

Dear readers,

This newsletter features a variety of announcements related to Integrated Youth Services (IYS). Most notable is a new pan-Canadian initiative to improve equity, access, and outcomes for IYS. Other stories include a complementary initiative to support Foundry’s capacity for research and knowledge exchange, as well as expansion of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO).
ANNOUNCING IYS-NET: A PAN-CANADIAN INITIATIVE TO

IMPROVE EQUITY, ACCESS AND OUTCOMES
GBF and CIHR have announced a joint, pan-Canadian initiative called Integrated Youth Services Network of Networks (IYS-Net) which will support the development of IYS as learning healthcare systems (LHS). IYS-Net will fund capacity for provincial and territorial IYS initiatives to undertake research, innovation, and knowledge mobilization, underpinned by investment in data infrastructure and pan-Canadian collaboration. The overall goal is to ensure that IYS reaches its full potential in terms of equity, access, and outcomes for youth and caregivers. More information on IYS-Net can be found on CIHR’s website.
 
An LHS is a healthcare system in which research, data, and experience generate knowledge and evidence that is embedded in and applied to policies and practices to continuously innovate and improve equity, service delivery, and the experience of care. The approach also provides capacity to enable researchers, service providers, youth, caregivers, and policy makers to build cross-sector collaboration. See the GBF webinar from November 3rd, 2021 for more information on LHS as applied to mental health services.
 
GBF and CIHR have committed to co-developing and co-funding IYS-Net and will seek further public and private partners to support financially and/or in-kind. This will help to ensure that all provinces and territories can participate. In addition, IYS-Net will be developed in phases, and input will be sought from a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that all jurisdictions in Canada receive the support they need to help youth.
 
In our special newsletter published in February 2022, we told the story of GBF’s work in IYS. This work began a decade ago with a GBF-CIHR partnership to transform youth mental health services. The partnership created the pathbreaking funding process called Transformational Research in Adolescent Mental Health (TRAM) and funded the pan-Canadian network ACCESS Open Minds (AOM). We at GBF are delighted to be working again with CIHR on a pan-Canadian initiative that will further advance and improve IYS.
 
FURTHER INVESTMENT IN FOUNDRY TO TRANSFORM

RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION CAPACITY
The Bell-GBF Partnership recently announced a $1.5 million donation in support of Foundry, the BC IYS initiative, to continue to transform youth mental health services in the province and share knowledge and best practices across Canada. See Foundry’s press release here.
 
The grant will bolster Foundry’s Research and Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE) teams to improve integrated health and social services for youth and their caregivers in BC and support knowledge sharing with other emerging IYS initiatives around the country and beyond. This will help improve access to quality, integrated care and ultimately improve outcomes for all Canadian youth. This work is highly complementary to the IYS-Net initiative (see above) and will enable Foundry to provide leadership in supporting IYS initiatives as learning healthcare systems.
 
The gift is a part of the Bell-GBF partnership’s $10 million commitment to advance integrated systems of care for youth mental health across Canada. 
 
Youth at Foundry Vancouver-Granville. Photo credit: Jeff Topham
FURTHER EXPANSION OF YWHO
The Ontario government has announced the further expansion of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO). Thanks to this commitment, over 20 hubs in Ontario will be able to provide youth aged 12-15 with timely access to a range of youth-friendly and culturally appropriate services, including for mental health and substance use. See the news release here.
 
THE ROLE OF FAMILIES/CAREGIVERS IN TRANSFORMING

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH
As part of the Bell-GBF Partnership, Bell Let’s Talk has launched a blog series about youth mental health. The series looks at how IYS is transforming services for young people across the country through the perspectives of youth, families, and service providers.
 
The latest blog post features two passionate family members/caregivers who are involved in the design and delivery of services in their local IYS hubs. Through the perspectives of Tracy Moss Forbes (Foundry Prince George) and Laurie Roeszler (AOM/YWHO Chatham-Kent), the blog explores the importance of addressing the needs of families/caregivers and supporting them on their journey to help their young person. Read their blog here.
VIDEOS HIGHLIGHTING DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF IYS
As part of a commitment to support the advancement of IYS across Canada, GBF and Bell have created a series of short videos highlighting the different aspects and components of IYS. Through the voices of youth, caregivers and service providers, the videos explore different themes such as youth engagement, improved access to a range of services, and the benefits of youth hubs to youth and families. The videos can be accessed below.

What is Integrated Youth Services?

Improving access to mental health services for youth

Integrated Youth Services: youth informing services

Creating youth-friendly spaces for mental health support
IAYMH 2022 TO BE HELD IN COPENHAGEN
Every two years, the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH) organizes an international conference dedicated to youth mental health. This year, IAYMH 2022 will be held from Sep. 29 - Oct 1 in Copenhagen, Denmark. 
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that youth mental health is of utmost importance no matter where you are in the world. IAYMH 2022 will explore the progress that has been made in youth mental health thus far, as well as future directions and opportunities. IYS, along with other Canadian and international youth mental health initiatives, will be featured as well.
 
GBF is excited to participate in the conference together with other stakeholders from Canada and beyond. To learn more about IAYMH 2022, visit https://iaymh2022.com/welcome-to-iaymh-2022
 
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