Mental Health and Addictions Youth Network (MAYNet)


Integrated Youth Services (IYS) are quickly becoming the standard of care for youth mental health and addictions in Canada and around the world. These programs aim to bring together multiple services that serve the health and social needs of youth aged 12-25, either in a single location or in a network of connected agencies. Because the services are designed around the developmental needs of adolescents and young adults, the concept of "youth friendliness" is an aspirational trait of the IYS model. Recent papers (e.g. Ambresin et al., 2013, Hawke et al., 2019) have brought us closer to a common definition of youth friendliness in mental and physical health care. However, questions remain as to whether the characteristics used to define youth friendliness are common across clients with the diverse range of life experiences, service needs, and demographic characteristics that IYS programs aim to serve. The MAYNet project will bring questions pertaining to youth friendliness and diversity directly to users of youth-directed mental health and addictions services to improve our understanding of how the "one-stop-shop" model affects their service experience and outcomes.


MAYNet will provide insight from service users representing the continuum of mental health and substance use issues, demographics, age, and life experiences of Canadian youth about the Health Equity Impact of integrated youth services.


19 years ago, the WHO officially brought the different needs of adolescents, ages 12-19 years, to the attention of healthcare providers around the world. It is time that Canada also adopts a national framework for youth-friendly mental health and addictions services.
The objective of MAYNet is to bring together a national group of knowledge-users, youth, people with lived experience, and researchers to contribute to a national framework on youth-friendly mental health and addictions services. We hope that the input provided by our research participants will help to influence the design and/or evaluation of current and future youth-focused programs to ensure that unintended health consequences are addressed and that the services are truly youth-friendly for all users.


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