Youth Opinion: COVID-19 mental health crisis needs a national solution

May 11, 2021|News

Youth Opinion: COVID-19 mental health crisis needs a national solution – The good news is that Canada already has one.

A glimpse at a new op-ed co-authored by the ACCESS Open Minds National Youth Council (coming soon!)

Rather than leaving youth and their families to navigate a convoluted, disintegrated system, ACCESS Open Minds sites bring everything under one roof. This model allows ACCESS Open Minds clinicians to see the vast majority of youth within 72 hours of initial referral, versus over four weeks of waiting in typical service delivery models. In this way, Integrated Youth Services do more than just treat symptoms. They also work towards building the resilience and mental health of the communities they serve.

Mental health crises are often a matter of dominoes falling, and most approaches today deal with the brutal crash of that final piece. At ACCESS Open Minds sites, an upstream approach is taken instead. Tight-knit teams get to youth earlier than any one service could, taking every domino into account and preventing chain reactions from going any further.

Young people have a profound investment in how the coming months and years will play out. We must go beyond the well-worn mantras of destigmatization and self-care, and instead accept that a national integrated mental healthcare solution is needed. By seamlessly bridging the clinic and the community, ACCESS Open Minds offers just that.


Co-written by the Access Open Minds National Youth Council, led by Feodor Poukhovski-Sheremetyev (co-lead) with contributions from Jimmy Tan, Tess Carrigan, Gabriella Urgel, Emily Saunders, and Chloé Guinaudie.