Homelessness in youth: The portrait of two urban Canadian initiatives from coast to coast

Presentation First Author: 
Diane Aubin (presented by Steve Mathias with Amal Abdel Baki)

Canadian clinicians and psychiatric teams from two cities, in collaboration with the community organizations for homeless youth, have developed models of care aiming at giving access and engaging homeless youth into treatment.

In Montreal, Dans la rue (born 26 years ago of Father Emmett Johns’ vision of reaching out to the street youth and visited by 150 youths daily) offers psychological, social services and alternative interventions in a youth friendly environment. The RIPAJ network (Réseau d’intervention de proximité auprès des jeunes de la rue) was born from psychologists’ initiative (2003) regrouping most organizations dedicated to this population (homeless shelters, day centers). An intensive community care team (EQIIP SOL) was set-up by the CHUM (2012) to address the needs of those suffering from substance use and SMD.

In Vancouver, Inner City Youth Program, established by St Paul’s Hospital psychiatrists, provides outreach mental health services to homeless youth in partnership and on site with Covenant House Vancouver (2007). ICY grew to an Intensive Case Management team (2013) supporting 160 youth with mental health and substance use. ICY is the gatekeeper for 80 low barrier supported housing units and 20 housing subsidies. ICY opened the Granville Youth Health Centre (2015), a fully integrated centre with primary care, low barrier counselling, income, housing support, rapid access to psychiatrists.

Since homelessness is associated with major psychological distress and increased risk of severe mental disorders, outreach specialized teams offering intensive integrated treatment in the community can increase accessibility of mental health services and its effectiveness.

Amal Abdel-Baki, M.D., FRCPC, M.sc., Medical Manager EQIIP SOL, CHUM; Clinical Associate Professor, Université de Montréal, Canada

Diane Aubin, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Clinical consultant; pioneer of a collaboration model of mental health care for youth at risk of homeless, Dans la Rue, Montréal, Canada

Steve Mathias, MD FRCPC CACAP ; Medical Manager, Inner City Youth Program; Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada

Conference Name: 
Date of Presentation: 
9th Oct 2015
Type of presentation: 
See other presentations in this Session: