June 17 2016

The Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) has been supporting the British Columbia Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BC-IYSI) to improve access to mental health, substance abuse and primary care for youth and young adults across British Columbia. BC is the first major provincial project to develop IYS. The BC-IYSI will support communities to establish youth-friendly, integrated, health and social service storefronts, and work alongside provincial online and phone line resources to strengthen a network of care for young British Columbians and their families. The initiative is working closely with ACCESS Open Minds on research, evaluation and branding.

The BC-IYSI is a collective impact initiative. It is a formal commitment from a group of organizations working together to address a complex problem. Its founding members, along with GBF, include the InnerChange Foundation, St. Paul’s Foundation, the BC provincial Ministries of Health and Children and Family Development, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Working with government, foundations, community agencies and donors, the province is creating demonstration sites for the transformation of its system, bringing all these services into one, accessible, youth-friendly home in five initial communities across the province. They join the first centre in downtown Vancouver; any youth or parent in those communities can walk into centres and find the help they need, when they need it. They will prioritize people before the system, and fill gaps where young people currently fall through the cracks. The centres will share a common vision with over 70 partnerships across the province; BC will become an international leader in youth and family wellbeing.

BC-IYSI will be working with the five communities listed below to establish new integrated youth health and social service centres:

  • Campbell River, Island Health:  Working with the John Howard Society of North Island
  • Prince George, Northern Health:  Working with the YMCA of Northern BC
  • North Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health:  Working with Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Abbotsford, Fraser Health:  Working with Abbotsford Community Services
  • Kelowna, Interior Health:  Working with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna Branch

Read BC’s announcement:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016HLTH0053-001061