Community Stories:

Brazeau County - Integrated Youth Services Hub

In March 2018, the Drayton Valley Primary Care Network (PCN) hosted a community conversation to discuss child and youth mental health (MH) services. We learned that physicians and agencies were noticing extremely long wait times for services, a clogging of the system and lack of supports within the local community. A series of recommendations were developed from this conversation including:

  • Create a navigation service or position to assist clients and their support system access services.
  • Development of a professional resource tool to assist physicians and other professionals utilizing local resources.
  • Offer education for physicians in child and youth mental health through CanREACH.
  • Develop community awareness of non-stigmatizing mental health and addiction language.
  • Create a collaborative model for community services to better address mental health across the spectrum.


The Plan

A Youth MH subcommittee of the Healthy Communities Coalition was started in August 2018 to follow through with the recommendations. Membership consists of Alberta Health Services (AHS) staff – Addictions and Mental Health, Health Promotion, the PCN, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), RCMP, Wild Rose School Division (WRSD) and Saint Thomas Aquinas Regional (STAR) School Division with new partners joining over the next few months.

Member of the subcommittee visited the Camrose Open Door Integrated Hub and Youth Centre – the model seemed very well fitted for the community but challenges included finances and working collaboratively while still within privacy legislation.

In December 2018 the subcommittee applied for a grant from Policy Wise Alberta to develop an Integrated Youth Services Hub. The grant was a perfect fit and the community was successful in obtaining $75,000 towards the Hub development. The grant also included mentorship and guidance from Policy Wise and other existing and developing Hubs.


The Outcomes

Our vision for the Hub is to assist youth ages 11-24 and their support systems to better utilize and access existing community services; with the assistance of a trained Navigator. The Hub will also create opportunities for true integrated service delivery, increase local resiliency, and address service gaps. The partners’ desire to service youth in a more effective way has been the cornerstone of success in moving this endeavor forward.  

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