The Working with Children and Youth with Complex Mental Health Needs: An Integrated Training Project recently hosted the second webinar in its 9-part series. The webinar brought together four dynamic and knowledgeable panelists to share their perspectives on using a health equity approach when working with children and youth with complex mental health needs.
Zahra Ismail is a Policy Analyst with CMHA Ontario. Her work centres on equity, human rights and accessibility for individuals with mental health and/or addiction issues. She kicked off the webinar by providing a foundation on equity principles and techniques for embedding equity within mental health programs and policies. Ismail highlighted the importance of considering the social determinants of health when working with children and youth. Advancing equity in mental health is one of CMHA Ontario’s 2010-2013 strategic directions. Read more about our equity work on the CMHA Ontario website.
Sheeba Narikuzhy, from East Metro Youth Services (EMYS), presented a diversity of themes that arise in the EMYS clinical practice, including the impacts of social determinants on adolescent mental health. Narikuzhy also identified issues that are relevant to newcomer youth and described ways that mental health programs can be culturally-sensitive to the youths’ needs.
Finally, Jenny Wylie and Maria Figluizzi from CMHA Simcoe County shared their insights on working with youth with mental health and/or addiction issues. They shared a poignant video called “The masks I wear.” The video features a collection of masks designed by some of the youth that they work with. Combined with the youths’ written expressions, the video describes their feelings, needs and unique experiences with mental health services. Specifically, the youth remind direct service providers to be authentic, understanding and mindful of how they may unknowingly contribute to stigma.
If you missed it, you can view the entire webinar as well as other resources provided by the presenters on the webinar 2 page of the Complex Needs website. To learn more about the project, visit the project website.