Integrating Youth Substance Use & Mental Health Services

Integrating Youth Substance Use & Mental Health Services

A new abstract titled: “Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario: A Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Learning Health System” was recently published in the International Journal of Integrated Care (2024). 

Clinicians and researchers in child and youth mental health have been calling for better integration of child, youth, and family-facing systems (e.g., health, mental health, child welfare, youth justice, education), as well as increased attention to holistic services that reflect the developmental, cultural, social, and health realities of children, youth and families. 

Integrated youth services are designed to address the gaps in youth mental health by providing youth-friendly, comprehensive services for youth ages 12 to 25, in a one-stop shop model of service delivery. 

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario centres engagement and equity, and offers developmentally-appropriate services in an integrated, community-based walk-in format. 

As an initiative committed to continuous learning and quality improvement, Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario offers evidence-based and evidence-generating services, and measurement-based care.  

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario demonstrates the feasibility of integrated mental health and substance use early intervention services, offered in the context of a broad range of health and social services. 

Integrating substance use, including prevention and intervention, with programs and services promoting mental health are greatly needed in the US to advance the mental and physical wellbeing of young people. 

Youth Wellness Hubs may be a good model for piloting in the US to further integrate youth mental health and substance use services.  

However, integration of substance use prevention and intervention and mental health promotion should also take place at the individual programmatic level to reach greater numbers of youth in need of multi-health risk behavior interventions.     

Read the entire abstract: 

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