Mental health services are usually designed by service providers, without energy of action (EA) and family input. This initiative centres in co-creating a photovoice and digital story collection communicating their perspectives, co-designing potential solutions to address current care challenges and forming a community of practice that engages EA, families, service providers and researchers.
Emerging adults (EA) aged 16 to 25 are at an important life stage with challenging changes and different needs than children or adults. About 75% of mental health concerns are diagnosed during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood and many EA with lived experience of mental health problems face difficulties as they transition from youth to adult services. Challenges with engaging and keeping EA in services are worsened by the lack of EA-specific supports. Although families and friends provide most of the ongoing care for EA, their support needs are often unrecognized in mental healthcare systems. Co-designing services with EA and families that meet their specific needs can lead to better experiences and wellbeing.
This initiative aims to partner with EA with lived experience of mental health concerns and families/friends from diverse communities (cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, etc.) to create practical and meaningful solutions to improve mental health services.
The project is being conducted through a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. A Community Advisory Board (CAB) will be created and include EA, families, service providers and researchers in Peel to guide this project. Phase 1 focuses on developing a CAB, gathering user and service provider perspectives through interviews and photovoice activities to create digital stories which capture the challenges of EA mental health journeys. Phase 2 focuses on co-designing potential solutions which could address the challenges identified in Phase 1.
Mental health services are usually designed by service providers, without EA and family input. This initiative centres the voices of EA and family/friends in co-creating a photovoice and digital story collection communicating their perspectives, co-designing potential solutions to address current care challenges and forming a community of practice that engages EA, families, service providers and researchers.
PARTNERSHIPS: Children’s Mental Health Ontario, Hospital for Sick Children, Indus Community Services, McMaster University, Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network, Parents for Children’s Mental Health, Punjabi Community Health Services, Seneca College, Shine Out, Shout Out, University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care