Youth Centred Practice

Youth-Centred Practice (YCP) is an innovative initiative aimed at transforming mental health care for young individuals by placing their needs and experiences at the forefront. In today’s dynamic healthcare landscape, prioritizing youth-centred care is essential for fostering meaningful relationships, enhancing independence, and promoting resilience among Transition-Age Youth (TAY).


The YCP project was born out of a desire to bridge the gaps in relationships between youth and mental health care professionals. Our goal is to translate the wealth of knowledge and experience from seasoned providers into actionable strategies that define and implement YCP in mental health care settings. Through collaboration with youth researchers within the MINDS lab, we have developed a comprehensive program that empowers service providers to adopt youth-centred practices effectively.


At the heart of YCP lies the principle of prioritizing the youth above all else. Unlike traditional mental health care approaches that may prioritize efficiency or standardized treatments, YCP emphasizes the importance of understanding each youth’s unique needs, challenges, and aspirations. As one clinician from a mood and anxiety disorders clinic expressed, helping youth should be the primary focus, not just a checkbox in the healthcare system’s agenda.


The YCP program offers training and resources to mental health professionals, encouraging them to cultivate deeper connections with their young clients. By embracing flexibility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to adapt to evolving youth experiences, practitioners can create a more welcoming and supportive environment for youth dealing with mental health and addiction challenges.


Youth-centred care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It recognizes the complexity and diversity of youth experiences and encourages practitioners to move away from black-and-white thinking. Each young person is unique, shaped by their developmental stages, societal influences, and personal journeys. Therefore, YCP equips practitioners with the tools and mindset to tailor their care to meet the ever-evolving needs of youth.


As we continue to refine and test the YCP program, we invite mental health professionals to join us in this transformative journey. By prioritizing youth-centred practices, we can create a healthcare system that is inclusive, responsive, and empowering for young individuals seeking mental health and addiction support.


Together, let’s embrace agility, awareness, and continuous learning to ensure that our care remains relevant, effective, and impactful for the youth we serve. Join us in shaping the future of youth mental health care through YCP.


Want to get involved in Youth Centred Practice (YCP)? Click here!

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