The Best We Have To Offer: A Look Into the Review into Youth Mental Health Services in New Brunswick

New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate

The BN Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate released its its final report on youth suicide prevention and mental health serices, entitled The Best We Have To Offer in September. This report stems from the minister of health’s request for an independent review following the death of 16-year-old Lexi Daken from the Fredericton region. This symposium will detail the process of the review and how the youth perspectives helped inform the process throughout. We will touch on the recommendations made to the province and provide an update on the progress made towards implementing these recommendations. It will also allow other provinces/organizations to see the impact it can make on their own youth mental health services.


Stacie Smith
Stacie is a 2020 Dalhousie Kinesiology graduate from Saint John, New Brunswick. She was Co-Chair of the Youth Advisory Council of the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Services Review conducted by the NB Child and Youth Advocate’s office. She is also the Co-Executive Director of the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health, Founder of the Mental Health Student Support Network, and a Youth Partner with Frayme. She was the recipient of the PHE Canada Student Leadership Award in 2018-2019 for her leadership role in the School of Health & Human Performance. She is currently attending the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in the Bachelor of Education program.

Sue Duguay
Sue Duguay is a 22-year-old student at the Université de Moncton in Law. She has a major in Political Science and two minors in Economics and Management Science. A former president of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française (FJCF) and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA), Sue now sits on the Board of Directors of the Club Richelieu International as Treasurer. She co-chaired the Youth Advisory Council for the review of youth mental health and suicide prevention services (in New Brunswick, 2021) and her provincial involvement began in 2013, on the board of directors of the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (FJFNB), the organization she chaired from 2016 to 2018 while being involved with multiple related causes over time. Recipient of the Canadian Leader Award (Atlantic Region), her passions for public speaking, society, politics, and law, regularly serve as a propulsion towards new accomplishments.

Key takeaways

  • The recommendations as proposed in the report entitled, The Best We Have to Offer, identified 10 final recommendations for implementation in youth suicide prevention and mental health services across New Brunswick
  • These recommendations are measurable and allow for a 5-year runway, with intention to reduce inappropriate hospital admissions for young people with mental health concerns, in keeping with the stepped care model and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Key Learning Objectives (defined by presenters)

  1. We hope participants will take learnings from our review process and use it in their own organizations/provinces to help inform and/or improve services.
  2. We hope participants will take our recommendations and review them to see if they may fit they organization or province.

Key Themes

  1. System/ policy recommendations
  2. Suicide prevention

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