What is ACCESS Open Minds?
ACCESS Open Minds is a pan-Canadian research and evaluation network that marks a major innovation in how youth mental health services in Canada are designed, delivered, and evaluated.
Across 14 participating services sites – located in 6 provinces and 1 territory – teams of mental health service providers are using a common research and evaluation program that was co-developed with, youth, families/carers, and service providers, to evaluate how they provide their services. ACCESS Open Minds is generating new knowledge about youth mental health services in diverse contexts across Canada to ensure that Canadian youth receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
Mental health care looks different in different places across Canada! A lot of work has been done already, and you can learn more about this work being done across the ACCESS Open Minds Network by reading the 2016-17 ACCESS Open Minds Impact Report.
For a more in-depth overview and summary of the project, download and read the ACCESS Open Minds Project Overview. You can also scroll down on this page to learn more about each of the project’s components.
Watch this video, which gives another perspective on understanding the ACCESS Open Minds project:
Why is this sort of initiative important? Why research and evaluation?
We have a lot of information and evidence about the problems related to youth mental health, but we don’t know nearly as much about what approaches work to best mental health needs, especially for youth in Canada. The research generated by ACCESS Open Minds aims to help to fill this gap in knowledge, so that future generations of Canadian youth will have better access to the right kinds of help.
The ACCESS Open Minds service delivery framework builds on existing youth mental health services to provide direct access to mental health assessments to youth seeking help. This framework includes staffing roles (such as clinicians, lay health workers, peer supporters), as well as service components (such as early identification activities and land-based programming) to engage youth, their families and carers, as well as community members in the delivery of youth mental health services.