Changes in psychological distress and substance use concerns in young people accessing Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario sites for mental health services

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario

Youth wellness hubs Ontario (TWHO) is a network of 14, one-stop service hubs where young people ages 12 to 25 years have walk-in access to youth centered, community based mental health and wellness services informed by youth, family members and service providers. The hubs are provincially-consistent in core features and locally led and adapted to offer and connect to a range of evidence-based services — mental health care, substance use, primary care, education, employment, housing, peer support, family support and care navigation — in youth friendly spaces. This presentation will report on the main clinical outcomes of young people who have presented to a YWHO site for mental health concerns. More specifically, this presentation will examine changes in psychological distress and substance use concerns for youth. Data regarding outcomes for young people using mental health and substance use services like YWHO are scarce; YWHO is committed to examining and reporting outcomes for young people using its services.


Deb Chiodo
Deb Chiodo is the Director of Data Management and Evaluation for Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Assistant Professor at Western University. Her research focuses on understanding the implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of evidence-based mental health and addiction interventions in real-world settings.

Key takeaways

  • (missed part of this presentation)
  • The majority of youth presenting at YWHO sites, according to K10 and GAIN-SS results, are in acute/severe distress. Over time, the majority of youth report improved wellbeing or steady progress
  • Measurement-based care is both a challenge and opportunity when analyzing the health outcomes of youth presenting at YWHO sites
    • If the young person’s goals remain consistent, analyzing clinical change over time is easier. If the goals change, measurement becomes more challenging
    • However, the low barrier accessibility of sites offers youth the care they need at that time and the ability to set their own goals, so they have an increased likelihood of returning

Key Learning Objectives (defined by presenters)

  1. Enhance participant knowledge of the changes in clinical outcomes for young people who have accessed a YWHO site
  2. Enhance participant knowledge of the presenting levels of mental health concern for young people at a YWHO site
  3. Enhance participant knowledge of the strategies and approaches to collecting and reporting on clinical outcomes for youth

Key Themes

  1. Youth-led discussion and application of mental health
  2. Destigmatizing mental health among peers

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