YWHO's Youth and Family Advisory Councils

Youth and family members serve on local working groups and provincial advisory committees to help YWHO better understand what works, what doesn’t and why - leading to improved outcomes, enhanced youth ownership of service delivery, and responsiveness to the changing needs of youth.

Provincial Youth Advisory Council (PYAC)

The YWHO Provincial Youth Advisory Council (PYAC) is a collective of youth aged 12 to 25 nominated by Youth Wellness Hub Ontario sites across the province. They are essential to providing youth insights and protecting youth interests across YWHO initiatives.

The PYAC offers a space for youth to connect with others across the province, share and solve ideas and issues they experience organizing at their hubs, and create tools that can help local youth advisory councils (YAC) accomplish their goals.

Additionally, the PYAC offers support and oversight in the direction of provincial projects and initiatives for all of YWHO – actively supporting this work at their inception, implementation, and evaluation stages.

Provincial Family Advisory Council (PFAC)

The YWHO Provincial Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is a collective of family members with lived and living experience in supporting family members through mental health and substance use issues.

The PYAC’s focus is to provide further advocacy for youth and family-driven concerns at YWHO. They also support the engagement and creation of supports for families at Youth Wellness Hubs sites, and offer consultation and feedback on YWHO provincial level projects and initiatives.

Youth Digital Action Group (DAG)

The YWHO Digital Action Group (DAG) is an advisory group of youth aged 12-25 from across the province that support the co-development of digital tools, including the YWHO Virtual Hub, YWHO's website, and beyond.

The DAG ensures that the youth voice, needs, access, and user experience is at the forefront of platform development and YWHO's online presence. DAG members have been instrumental to YWHO: advocating for supportive and accessible online features, youth-friendly design and language, and co-leading consultations with youth across Ontario.

Provincial Indigenous Youth and Family Advisory Circle (PIYFAC)

The Provincial Indigenous Youth and Family Advisory Circle (PIYFAC) was developed to create opportunities for Indigenous youth and families to share perspectives of what is needed to support their mental health service experience in Ontario. It informs YWHO on how hubs and partners can provide care that is reflective of Indigenous youth and their communities.

The spirit of the group is founded on an Indigenous worldview of community, interconnectedness, and honouring the stages of life across the life span. We acknowledge that each stage of life is connected to teachings and relationships that are important to our growth and development. For that reason, our circle is made up of youth, family members, and Elders, all with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Advisory Opportunities

YWHO’s advisory capacities are continuously growing based on emerging projects, programs, and youth interests.

YWHO’s youth and family engagement welcomes youth who bring a diversity of lived experience, identities, levels of knowledge, experience, and different interests. These advisories work intentionally to uplift the voices of Black and Indigenous youth, youth of colour, 2SLGBTQ youth, newcomer and/or migrant youth, Disabled youth, youth with lived and living experiences with substance use, and current and former YWHO service users.

YWHO offers youth and family advisors opportunities to build meaningful connections with others, skills development, training, and recognition for their work. YWHO is committed to building safer environments free of discrimination, violence, harassment, always offering regular opportunities to offer feedback, and fair compensation for their time and contributions.

YWHO advisories are most frequently meeting virtually.


Get involved! How to join the YWHO advisories:

Youth involved in local Youth Wellness Hub sites can connect with their local peer navigator, Youth Advisory Council (YAC), or any other staff for more opportunities to get involved! Youth with more questions or interest in opportunities to lead youth mental health initiatives with YWHO can reach out to Lee Cameron (they/she) at lee.cameron [at] (lee[dot]cameron[at]ywho[dot]ca) any time!

Family members interested in building comprehensive supports for youth mental health with YWHO can reach out to Lee Cameron (they/she) at lee.cameron [at] (lee[dot]cameron[at]ywho[dot]ca) any time!

If you self-identify as Indigenous and have an interest in advocating for youth mental health, please feel free to reach out to Kaitlyn Gilham (she/her) at kaitlyn.gilham [at] (subject: Inquiry%20from%20website%20-%20PIYFAC) (kaitlyn[dot]gilham[at]ywho[dot]ca).