Earlier, easier, better: How youth mental healthcare is being transformed in Canada and India
By Srividya N. Iyer (Department of Psychiatry; Associate Member, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University; Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre
Scientific-Clinical Director, ACCESS Open Minds [pan-Canadian youth mental health network])
The rapid ageing of their populations has led many advanced Western economies to invest much hope in the future contributions of their youth. In the economically developing world, where populations are mostly young, the youth represent an abundant, vibrant resource to whose development entire nations’ prospects are tied. Thus, besides being a moral imperative, the wellbeing of young people is a matter of public concern across the world.
Mental health is an especially salient aspect of wellbeing for the young. This is because most mental illnesses arise in the period spanning adolescence and early adulthood and can, with delayed or deficient treatment, disrupt the pursuit and attainment of important social and economic milestones. Fortunately, youth also represents a window of opportunity in which timely, high-quality treatment could stave off the worst long-term effects of mental illness.
This presentation will provide an overview of the increasingly globally acknowledged need to ensure that the mental health needs of young people are identified early and addressed with timely, accessible, high-quality services that yield better outcomes. With illustrative examples of mental health services innovations and research from Canada and India, it will highlight core principles and strategies for improving youth mental health services worldwide.