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Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative

It is estimated that 12.6% (84,000) of children and youth aged 4 - 17 in BC are experiencing mental health disorders at any given time. Up to 69% (58,000) of these children and youth are not receiving the level of specialized service that they require. There is a gap in services for youth aged 18 – 24.

Doctors of BC, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) identified a CYMHSU system review as a priority and developed a strategic plan. Together these groups created a charter that outlined collaborative goals, objectives, and activities. The Collaborative is funded by the Shared Care Committee, with contributions from the Specialist Services Committee and the General Practice Services Committee; all three are joint collaborative committees of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health. 

White Rock-South Surrey has established a CYMHSU Local Action Team (LAT) in April 2015. We currently have 57 members including youth, parents, GPs, psychiatrists, paediatricians, school principals and counsellors, MCFD, and all other service providers in on the mental health continuum.


Our LAT prioritized the following areas, falling into three working groups:

  1. Speaker Series – Raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma by providing school based information and educational events for parents, youth, school personnel, and care providers
  2. Communication – Improve communication between all service providers and improve knowledge of community resources. Establishment of a Roaming Hub (taking services to where the youth are at).
  3. Programs in schools – offer programs in elementary and high school to increase mental health awareness and build resilience.

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