Author: Karen Copeland
I’ve just gotten home from the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative Learning Session. This was two full days of learning and sharing about initiatives happening across the province to increase access to integrated mental health care for our children, youth and their families.
It was an honor to stand on stage alongside MaryAnna Ennis, one of our community #champions and share our ideas about the need for continued and intentional feedback from youth and parents about services in our community. We talked about the need to look beyond feedback forms to having specific conversations with youth and families. I challenged the room to think about the ways they can continue to elicit the youth and parent voice with the end goal of improving care. This will take courage and commitment from everyone – for youth and parents to feel safe to share their thoughts on what works and what they wish for, and for providers to feel safe to hear these thoughts.
It’s about connection and trust. We can’t just ‘buy in’ to the idea that we need to hear feedback from youth and parents, we need to BELIEVE IN their wisdom and knowledge. I look forward to continuing this conversation in our community and coming up with ideas about how to engage youth and parents in ways that work best for them.