NorthBEAT presenting at the IAYMH 2019 Conference in Australia

If you’re attending #IAYMH2019 this weekend, be sure to join our Tabletop presentation! We’re scheduled for Sunday October 27 at 4pm, during concurrent block 2.6. Full details on our presentation below.

IAYMH 2019 Conference
Sunday October 27, 2019 – 4pm
CONCURRENT SESSION 2.6 – Tabletop Presentations

Growing Pains: developing best practices for youth engagement in the NorthBEAT Collaborative

Authors: C Lem; M Grant; E LaFroye; H Zachozy; D Eddington; C Cheng

Background: The NorthBEAT (Barriers to Early Assessment and Treatment) Collaborative is a four-year research-to-action initiative to shift the system for youth with psychosis in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. The Collaborative was formed in 2017 after findings from the NorthBEAT Research Project (2012-15) identified that young people do not receive early psychosis intervention (EPI) as a result of barriers including an isolating and disconnected system of care and a lack of knowledge about psychosis and appropriate intervention across that system of care. To date, the Collaborative has over 30 signed member organizations and two advisory groups who are committed to help youth with psychosis in Northwestern Ontario get the help they need, when they need it. NorthBEAT’s Youth Advisory Group (#northbeatYAG) meets monthly to provide feedback on the Collaborative’s activities and to co-create resources for youth and families.

Process: The literature on youth engagement consistently emphasizes why youth engagement is important and conceptual best practices, but there are limited resources to guide the process of putting this into practice. NorthBEAT’s youth engagement strategy has been developed using principles from academic journals—i.e., accessibility, respect, diversity, etc.—but the actual day-to-day processes have been built on anecdotal best practices informed by other local youth groups—i.e., how to best recruit, how to establish group norms, etc. This tabletop presentation will briefly describe our internal best practices for youth engagement, as well as a summary of the Youth Advisory Group’s activities, successes, and lessons learned to date.

Results: The NorthBEAT Youth Advisory Group is in the early stages of co-creating resources and social media content for youth to educate them about psychosis and where to turn for help. Supported by dedicated support staff, the YAG has recruited over 35 members from across Northwestern Ontario and has held monthly meetings since fall 2018. Youth in attendance at our monthly meetings consistently provide thoughtful, high-quality feedback and generate valuable ideas. We continue to look for ways to improve our practices to maximize regional and long-distance engagement and increase numbers in attendance at each meeting.

Discussion: NorthBEAT is interested in getting a global perspective on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to youth engagement and youth-led initiatives. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences, ideas and feedback for our youth advisors, and will be given the opportunity to let the Youth Advisory Group know how they think they are doing or ideas for what to do next by recording a video, taking a photo, or sharing handwritten messages. These messages will be shared with the YAG at their next meeting and made available online via our website and social media.

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