Making the case for citizenship-oriented mental healthcare for youth in Canada

Gerald Jordan, Christina Mutchler, Sean A Kidd, Michael Rowe, Srividya N Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
Varying stakeholders have highlighted how recovery-oriented mental health services such as youth mental health services have traditionally focused on supporting individual resources to promote recovery (e.g., agency) to the exclusion of addressing structural issues that influence recovery (e.g. poverty). One response to this criticism has been work helping people with mental health problems recover a sense of citizenship and sense of belonging in their communities. Work on citizenship has yet to influence youth mental healthcare in Canada’s provinces and territories. This paper aims to highlight ways that youth mental healthcare can better help youth recover a sense of citizenship.

Design/methodology/approach
The arguments described in this paper were established through discussion and consensus among authors based on clinical experience in youth mental health and an understanding of Canada’s healthcare policy landscape, including current best practices as well as guidelines for recovery-oriented care by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Findings
Here, this study proposes several recommendations that can help young with mental health problems recover their sense of citizenship at the social, systems and service levels. These include addressing the social determinants of health; developing a citizenship-based system of care; addressing identity-related disparities; employing youth community health workers within services; adapting and delivering citizenship-based interventions; and connecting youth in care to civic-oriented organizations.

Originality/value
This paper provides the first discussion of how the concept of citizenship can be applied to youth mental health in Canada in multiple ways. The authors hope that this work provides momentum for adopting policies and practices that can help youth in Canada recover a sense of citizenship following a mental health crisis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Early online date2 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2023

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