In 2021 the Government of Alberta launched Youth Hubs Alberta to address gaps in mental health care for young people. These Integrated Youth Services connect multiple, cross-sector community partners to increase access to mental health and wellness support for youth aged 11 to 24 years. The Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Division (CMHA AB) was funded to lead operations and implementation. They contracted PolicyWise for Children & Families to lead the evaluation. Eleven communities from across the province participated. For each participating community we engaged with youth and Hub partners to create a reflection document that celebrates the Hub's impact between April 2021 and March 2023. Each document, including the three Snapshots shared here, highlights youth voices, Hub achievements, and the unique strengths of each community.
Policy & Practice Implications
- Youth mental health support can be improved through the ability to respond to youth physical, mental, and social health needs and with coordination among service providers.
- Engaging early and often with key stakeholders including youth and community partners can enliven evaluation outcomes by highlighting the complexity of their experiences.
- Centring communities’ perspectives in assessing impact can lead to innovative and responsive solutions.