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About Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario

What is Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario?

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) is an Integrated Youth Services (IYS) initiative designed to address the service gaps in the youth mental health and substance use sectors in Ontario.  

YWHO supports local service providers to work together in a new way, providing young people in Ontario aged 12 to 25 with access to a full range of integrated services that support their individual needs, including mental health and substance use supports, primary care, education, employment, housing and other social services in one youth-friendly space. YWHO's IYS model is designed to improve experiences and outcomes for youth by: 

  • Increasing access to rapid, low-barrier services;
  • Reducing transitions by providing care in one location; and,
  • Providing tailored, high-quality programs co-developed with youth to meet their needs.

22 YWHO Hub Networks in Ontario

There are over 22 YWHO Hub Networks that provide integrated services for youth and families in Ontario. 

Each hub works with local service providers and partners in their communities across the province to bring together existing services to work together in a new way and deliver high-quality, developmentally appropriate services to youth and their families in their community.

 

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What makes YWHO service delivery unique?

YWHO is committed to youth and family partnership. All services are co-developed with youth and their families to match their needs.

Services are free of charge so that care can be accessed by youth in need and barriers to care are reduced. If more specialized services or channels of care are required, referrals are arranged for outside service providers, while youth can continue to access services at their YWHO hub

YWHO is committed to improving the quality and accessibility of services for diverse youth across the province and continues to prioritize improving access and outcomes with and for First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth, 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, Francophone youth, immigrant and refugee youth, racialized youth, neurodiverse youth, and youth with disabilities.

Prioritizing Health Equity

The YWHO Model

The YWHO Model is an Integrated Youth Services (IYS) model that supports communities in bringing together existing services to work together in a new way to provide youth and families access to high-quality, developmentally appropriate services at the right time and in the right place.

Integrated Youth Services (IYS) is a dynamic movement across Canada and internationally that aims to build effective, youth-focused and integrated services to address mental health, substance use, and related concerns among youth aged 12 to 25 years. 

YWHO is taking critical steps towards transforming Ontario's mental health and substance use services with and for youth and improving outcomes that are important to youth and families. 

 

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YWHO Values

Members of the YWHO  network subscribe to our values and use them to guide the co-design, implementation and evaluation of our integrated youth services model. The following values and commitments are central to YWHO:

  • Youth and family engagement in decision-making
  • Safe spaces
  • Integrated and collaborative care of youth
  • Working within multi-disciplinary/agency networks
  • Low/no-barrier service offerings for youth
  • Culturally appropriate care
  • Equity-based principles and inclusivity of access
  • Care informed by anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice
  • Integrated/coordinated service pathways
  • Harm reduction
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Measurement-based care


Our Core Components

Co-design with Youth & Families

Equitable and culturally responsive programming is core to local service delivery. In order to improve equity and provide culturally responsive services local hubs and the YWHO provincial office work to build partnerships with youth, communities and service providers with expertise serving populations that experience intersecting barriers to care in order to implement more accessible and/or innovative ways of meeting the needs of young people and their families.

An example of how the YWHO Provincial Office implements this is through collaborating with various experts and four youth and family advisory committees in order to improve access and equity:

  • Provincial Youth Advisory Council (PYAC)
  • Provincial Family Advisory Council (PFAC)
  • Provincial Indigenous Youth & Family Advisory Circle (PIYFAC)
  • Youth Digital Action Group (DAG) 

YWHO Engagement

Wellness Your Way

YWHO is a provincial network of integrated youth service hubs that provide wholistic services for youth co-designed with youth and families in 22 Hub Networks throughout the province.

Originally funded through philanthropy and by the Ontario government in 2017, YWHO was established to address gaps in the youth mental health system by providing fully integrated services for youth aged 12-25, addressing needs related to mental health, substance use, primary care, education, employment, housing, peer support, outreach, system navigation, and other community and social programming.

Through a commitment to rapid and low-barrier access, developmentally appropriate, early and evidence-based interventions, equitable and culturally effective services, and youth collaboration, YWHO is taking a critical step forward to improve Ontario’s youth mental health and substance use care system.

 

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Core Components

YWHO’s Six Core Components

The six core components of YWHO are the essential functions, principles and activities required for the model to achieve its desired outcomes.

Each local YWHO site implements these evidence-based and evidence-generating components to ensure that youth and their families are receiving the best possible quality of care regardless of which YWHO site they access.

Click here to download a summary document of YWHO's Core Components. 

The six core components are:

Heart YWHO

Youth & Family Engagement

Engagement empowers youth and families to make decisions about their care by embedding their voice at all levels.
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Collaborative partnerships

Integrated Governance & Partner Collaboration

Strategic collaboration between youth and service provider network to manage resources and organize service delivery.
YWHO umbrella

Accessible

A comprehensive array of services offered to youth under one roof to meet their individual needs.
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Sunshine

Inclusive and Culturally Diverse Services

Services that respond to the health, beliefs, practices, cultural, and linguistic needs of diverse youth.
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YWHO Flag hand

YWHO Integrated Service Delivery (IYS) Model

Co-located and integrated service across a continuum of care accessible through a single, youth-friendly access point.
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Measurement-based care (MBC)

Standardized screening tools, equity data use, and clinical outcome monitoring to improve care for youth.
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YWHO is a Learning Health System (LHS)

As a Learning Health System (LHS), YWHO is continuously working to transform the system of care for young people. YWHO can support youth, families, service providers, researchers, and policy-makers by working together to innovate and achieve better outcomes in youth mental health. 

 

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Looking for more information?

We're here to answer your questions! Whether you're looking for details on our service model or which site is closest to you, our provincial office team can help. Click the link below to contact us.

Contact YWHO