1664 Ontario Street East
T (514) 526-7677 x 239
F (514) 940-3337
The goal of the RIPAJ/Montreal Homeless Youth Network is to strengthen the collaboration between community organizations and institutions in the health care system in order to improve access to all mental health services for young people aged 12 to 25.
The RIPAJ/Homeless Youth Network is made up of organizations and specialized teams that have been working for several years with highly vulnerable youth in downtown Montreal and surrounding areas. Among its partners are social workers and professionals whose expertise in delivering community services was put to use in the creation of the ACCESS Open Minds model. Here are the main partners:
The RIPAJ has managed to build the necessary bridges between street, mental health, and psychiatric services, and the institutions and organizations involved, to allow young people to achieve their personal goals—whether it is getting a place of their own or going back to work or school in safe conditions. Regular meetings during which administrative and clinical information is shared among the various intervention workers make it possible to establish a community of practice and to articulate a shared philosophy, while at the same time promoting better knowledge of the partner organizations in the respect of their differences, so that there may be no wrong doors to knock on to get help.
The originality of the ACCESS OM-RIPAJ project lies in the flexibility and mobility of the intervention workers, who can travel to wherever young people are: their home, the street, community organizations. In addition to mental health professionals, easily accessible at the various RIPAJ sites, an ACCESS OM clinician can serve as the first point of contact for them or any referring person. The young person is offered an initial assessment of his or her needs and mental state within 72 hours of a request. Youth can easily reach the ACCESS OM clinician by phone (438-390-6910), by text message or by e-mail, directly or via a friend, a family member or an intervention worker, to arrange a meeting at a location convenient for them. Assisted by the members of the support team, the clinician will guide the young people towards the services required by their situation or issues—frontline or specialized services if necessary—and will support them during the process within the RIPAJ and the health care system, until the necessary services have been received.