The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has published “Evergreen: A Child and Youth Mental Health Framework for Canada”. Arising from a recommendation from the Child and Youth Advisory Committee of the MHCC, Evergreen’s purpose is to support the MHCC in its national mandate and to provide a framework of values and strategic directions for agencies responsible for child and youth mental health.
“Evergreen” reviews the factors that have created obstacles for an effective child and youth mental health system which include: service silos that fail to address the “whole-person” of young people; lack of equitable access to needed services; a lag in research in this area; stigma against the young person affected and their families; and funding disparities across the country.
The values articulated in the “Evergreen Framework” were developed after extensive consultation. They include:
- Upholding human rights
- Dignity, respect and diversity and therefore equal access to services that meet peoples’ needs
- The use of best available evidence in the delivery of services and care, that also takes into account cost effectiveness and the particular needs of each individual
- Choice, opportunity and responsibility that balances a child/youth centred approach with the care-giving role that families play
- Collaboration, continuity and community amongst young people and their families and the networks they can establish, as well as the organizations engaged in planning and delivery of services
- Timely access to information, programs and services relevant to young Canadians and mental health
Strategic directions were also developed in collaboration with a comprehensive list of stakeholders and the Evergreen Advisory Committee. Child and youth mental health policy documents from around the world were also sourced for input. Directions are categorized into promotion, prevention, intervention and ongoing care, research and evaluation. The Framework recommends that any mental health policy, plan, program or service include some, or all, of these strategic directions in their development.
To read “Evergreen: A Child and Youth Mental Health Framework for Canada”, please go to www.kec.mentalhealthcommission.ca.