A mental health initiative called ACCESS NB has been successfully funded, according to a government release. The program launched today and was co-ordinated by the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and Dr. Ashok Malla, of the Douglas Institute for Youth Mental Health at McGill University.
New Brunswick is one of 12 ACCESS sites across Canada, but is the first provincial site to be founded. ACCESS NB is intended to improve youth engagement in and awareness of mental health issues, lead to early identification of youth between the ages of 11 and 25 in need of support and provide timely access to evidence-based, youth-friendly mental healthcare for the entire range of mental health problems.
“The ACCESS NB initiative is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how academic and clinical research can meaningfully support policy changes and service delivery that will directly improve the lives of young people,” said Lise Dubois, PhD, dean of Graduate Studies at the Université de Moncton.
The ACCESS project was awarded a $25 million grant after winning a national competition held by the Graham Boeckh Foundation and the Canadian Institute for Health Research for being the group presenting the best ideas and capacity for transforming youth mental health services across the country over a span of five years.
“The need for such a transformation is great,” said Inspector Rick Shaw, with the RCMP “J” Division and chair of the executive committee for the ACCESS NB initiative. “More than 75 per cent of mental disorders first appear in early adolescence and young adulthood, but only 20-to-25 per cent of youth with mental health challenges in Canada receive appropriate help.”
ACCESS is one of several Strategic Patient Oriented Research Initiatives funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research which aims to improve the health of all Canadians. Through this program, ACCESS NB intends to lend support to the province’s youth by;
- developing safe spaces for youth with mental health issues to empower their voice and provide improved access to care;
- providing mental health training for all sectors of society to better identify and support youth with mental health needs;
- knowledge sharing both within the province and throughout the broader national network to ensure that New Brunswick youth benefit from the best clinical care practices; and
- evaluating the results of the changes to youth mental healthcare.
ACCESS is one of several Strategic Patient Oriented Research Initiatives funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research which aims to improve the health of all Canadians.