LOFT has participated in launching a collaborative YouthCan IMPACT project to serve youth requiring mental health support
LOFT is very excited to be part of YouthCan IMPACT – a collaborative project focusing on bringing more accessible services to youth seeking mental health support. On June 14, 2016, the project was officially launched by CAMH with the first clinic for youth opened in Scarborough.
Three community-based clinics will be located at:
- Scarborough’s East Metro Youth Services (Markham Rd & Ellesmere Rd) NOW OPEN
- Delisle Youth Services (Yonge & Eglinton) Opening in July
- South East Toronto Family Health Team (Danforth & Woodbine) Opening in July
Partners include CAMH – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network – prev TEGH, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, East Metro Youth Services, Delisle Youth Services and Sashbearorg.
The situation with mental health and addiction disorders among young people is alarming – as many as 20 per cent youth require support. Yet as few as one in six youth affected by mental health issues will access appropriate support.
LOFT youth workers know firsthand why young people do not access the mainstream services. Some of the reasons include need in referrals, long wait lists, unwelcoming clinical environments and lack of service coordination. There is also a gap between children mental health services and adult services. When young people need help, they need it now from the people they trust and they need support to navigate the system and address their other pressing needs, such as housing or physical health needs.
LOFT has an extensive experience in helping young people address these issues through its Transitional Age Youth Program. Now this experience will be fully utilized in the YouthCan IMPACT project.
Clinics in the project will serve youth, aged 14-25, with mental health and addiction challenges. Community-based walk-in clinics will open their doors to offer individual and group therapy, peer support, system navigation, internet-based support, addiction treatment groups and onsite psychiatric services.
LOFT staff will act as care navigators, helping young people and their families access all services they need. We will focus on linking transitional age young people to adult services. LOFT will also provide peer support, accompany youth to appointments and provide 24/7 crisis support through texting and by phone.
“The work LOFT will do in this project is very similar to care coordination and community support we already provide. The project is very important for us to learn more about family support and the younger age group”, says Heather McDonald, LOFT Director of Adult & Youth Services.
While the first step in the YouthCan IMPACT project is to implement and evaluate Toronto-based services, the team hopes the new model can be replicated in other communities, improving access across the mental health system.