RCCbc Site Visits Specialized Report: Youth Mental Health and Addiction Service Successes, Challenges, & Areas of Opportunity
Prepared by: Erika Belanger
The following information has been collected from physicians, health administrators, First Nations, nurse practitioners, and municipality members from ~95 RSA communities across the province of BritishColumbia between January 2018 – March 2020. The current report introduces themes that have emerged through the Rural Site Visits Project. Themes have been extracted using a qualitative analysis program called NVivo and are expanded upon in further detail. All information has been anonymizedfollowing ethical protocols and guidelines.
• Youth mental health, psychiatry, and addiction services are lacking exponentially compared to that ofadult mental health, psychiatry, and addiction services; which are also lacking across rural communities.
• Youth mental health and addiction needs are not being met across rural British Columbia. A crisis is occurring where a high demand for accessing such services exists across the province, and youth are occurring where a high demand for accessing such services exists across the province, and youth are struggling to receive help.
• Youth mental health and addiction successes have involved strong collaboration initiatives between local community-level stakeholders and provincial stakeholders.
• Many physicians and nurse practitioners report not feeling comfortable enough or feel that they lack the adequate skillset to treat pediatric mental health patients. More training in this area, or an improved ability to refer to those who do have the necessary training in a time-efficient manner, is needed.
Mental Health and Addiction Successes
Through various initiatives, participants shared how they found the Child and Youth Mental Health Program to be successful at connecting youth to mental health services and supports that they required access to. One community advocated to keep the program in place for as long as possible given its success.