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About the CYMHSU Collaborative

CYMHSU stands for:

  • C: Child
  • Y: Youth
  • M: Mental
  • H: Health
  • S: Substance
  • U: Use

The purpose of the CYMHSU Collaborative is to increase the number of children, youth, and families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports in BC.

More than 2,000 individuals—including youth, parents, family physicians, ER physicians, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, school counsellors, substance use counsellors, Aboriginal service providers, RCMP/local police officers, health administrators, MCFD administrators, clinicians and other community agencies – are involved in the Collaborative.

Youth and parents - in partnership with the FORCE Society – provide leadership and participate in all aspects of the Collaborative. The leadership and participation of youth and parents has been identified as the biggest gem of the Collaborative. About the collaborative process:

The CYMHSU Collaborative structure is based upon the Collaborative Model for Achieving Breakthrough Improvement, pioneered by the US Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This model is used worldwide as a method of rapid continuous quality improvement in healthcare. The model brings Local Action Teams (LATs) together, who commit to identifying and improving areas of policy or practice during the process of collaboration. The teams then make small tests of change in quick succession in these areas and then share results with the larger groups at regular “Learning Sessions”.

The idea for the Collaborative was generated by the Interior Inter-divisional Strategic Council which represents seven divisions of family practice (representing more than 800 family physicians), Interior Health, the Ministry of Health, and the General Practice Services Committee. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) identified the need for a CYMHSU system review and developed a strategic plan. Together these groups created a charter that outlines the Collaborative’s goals and objectives.

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