ACCESS Open Minds is a pan-Canadian research and evaluation project to understand how youth mental health services can be transformed. It is funded through a $25 million joint venture between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Graham Boeckh Foundation.

ACCESS Open Minds is generating new knowledge about how youth mental health services can be transformed in diverse contexts across Canada to ensure that every Canadian youth receives the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. The research network includes 16 communities across six provinces and one territory in Canada, including First Nations and Inuit communities. It is a multi-stakeholder network that brings together youth, families, care providers, policy makers, researchers and community organizations.

Each of the 16 sites aims to achieve the following five objectives to transform youth mental healthcare:

  • Early identification
  • Rapid access to care (initial assessment within 72 hours)
  • Removal of age-based (18 years) transition and delivery of a seamless service for 11 to 25-year-old youth
  • Access to high quality, appropriate, timely, and evidence-informed interventions
  • Youth and family engagement in the design of services

ACCESS Open Minds was selected through an innovative funding competition called TRAM for ‘Transformational Research in Adolescent Mental Health’. The initiative is part of CIHR’s Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR).

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