Capacity building

Capacity Building at YWHO

YWHO is a key contributor to youth mental health and substance use system transformation and is a leader in integrated youth services. YWHO has a mandate to build system capacity in these areas within and across sectors.


What is capacity building at YWHO?

Capacity building involves developing and strengthening the skills, knowledge, processes and resources that are required to provide the best service possible to youth and their families.

For YWHO, this includes determining the needs of those in the youth mental health and substance use sector (e.g., needs assessment, measurement based care approach), developing, contributing to and/or providing relevant training to service providers to address those needs, and sharing this knowledge with other related services that support youth and their caregivers or other supporters. This equips all service providers to best respond to the wide-ranging needs of youth.

An example of YWHO’s capacity building is the development of the Youth Substance Use Training eLearning course. This comprises a webinar and two self-paced, online learning courses – available in English and French – addressing youth substance use and providing substance use specific services to youth. The curricula were co-developed by YWHO and CAMH’s PSSP, through a Health Canada/Substance Use and Addictions Program grant in collaboration with Foundry BC. This training series is offered to direct care providers and network partners at all YWHO sites, to build and/or enhance their knowledge and service implementation skills in this area.

These trainings have also been shared with external community mental health services, as well as school boards – illustrating how YWHO is broadening knowledge and transforming all sectors that connect to supporting youth.

Training across multiple youth-focused areas

YWHO also aims to proactively supply service providers with resources to assist in other youth-related areas. YWHO has provided several other capacity building series by experts in the areas of:

  • trauma-informed practice
  • risk assessment and management of youth with self-injurious thoughts and behaviours
  • measurement based care and questionnaires relevant to youth at the hubs
  • eating disorders
  • harm reduction
  • youth and family engagement and rapport building
  • Indigenous engagement and inclusion
  • equity, diversity and inclusion
  • anti-oppression and anti-racism practices
  • Peer support,
  • 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion,
  • trans-affirming youth care