More than ever, mental health and substance use concerns touch our communities, friends and families. Perhaps, we are a more aware society with better diagnostic tools and a greater desire to deal with these challenges. Whatever it is, we are seeing more children and youth in our region struggle with mental health and substance use challenges. Their parents are faced with the stress of dealing with a complex support system while trying their best to create and maintain a loving supportive environment for their children.
Like many small communities, the barriers to receiving timely and integrated mental health and substance use services in this region include wait lists for services, lack of coordination of services, and communication issues between service agencies. In order to address part of this problem, the Child & Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) - West Kootenay Local Action Team (WK LAT) conducted a Wraparound Prototype across the region.
Click here to read the full evaluation report.
Find out why the Child and Youth Mental Health & Substance Use Collaborative makes Dr. Iyiola’s “heart gallop” – Click here to download the April 2015 CYMHSU report card.
The Kootenay Boundary LAT has made inroads into its wait list (from 140 in 2013 to 11 in 2014) for the month of September) through a variety of actions, some inspired by the team and others as the result of work by individual organizations. An in-house child & youth psychiatrist has also contributed to reducing wait times for psychiatric and mental health services.
MCFD is in the process of implementing its new clinical intake system that will reduce the number of third party referrals and increase the capacity to timely continual care. Referrals to the child & youth psychiatrist are made directly to CYMH offices throughout the Kootenay Boundary region, and are screened closely upon receipt to ensure they are appropriate for MCFD services and immediately referred on if the client is better served elsewhere.
A number of prevention initiatives have been implemented, including MCFD's FRIENDS for Life program (a school-based, anxiety prevention and resiliency program resource for teachers and parents of children K to Grade 7) and Mind Check.