As part of the implementation of the Child and Youth Mental Health Plan, a number of ad hoc expert advisory tables were established to assist the Ministry in developing strategies to improve mental health outcomes in children and youth, as follows:
- eating disorders
- conduct disorder
- early psychosis
- concurrent disorders - substance use/mental disorders
- dual diagnosis - developmental/mental disorders
The function of these expert tables is to help identify priorities in given clinical areas based on expertise in the field, and knowledge of the current service delivery system in BC. In addition, expert advisory members provide feedback and advice with regard to planning and prioritization of strategies for the second phase of the Child and Youth Mental Health Plan. The tables disband once the recommended strategies have been formulated and/or implemented. The objective of the expert tables is to ensure the implementation of the Mental Health Plan adheres to best practices in children’s mental health and to include the perspectives of key provincial experts in implementation activities.
Two examples of initiatives implemented on the advice of the Expert Tables include:
- At the recommendation of the Expert Table on Anxiety Disorders, the Ministry is currently implementing a training program for child and youth mental health clinicians in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a treatment that research shows is as effective as medication in treating anxiety in young people. CBT helps youngsters to identify how their thoughts influence their feelings and behaviours and to learn new ways to cope with their anxiety feelings.
For more information contact your local child and youth mental health office.
- On recommendation from the Early Psychosis Expert Table, the Ministry is providing annual funding of over $120,000 to the Fraser Health Authority to develop and implement a training program to support evidence-based interventions for early psychosis in British Columbia. Child and youth mental health clinicians and physicians, especially those in rural and remote areas, are invited to participate in the training. Starting in July 2004, the program includes a training website, training practicum opportunities at the EPI site at the White Rock Peace Arch Hospital, and scheduled phone consultations with expert EPI clinicians.
The Ministry also committed nearly $30,000 for early psychosis educational initiatives, including an advertising campaign and translation of materials into Hindi, Punjabi, Chinese and Korean.
For more information on early psychosis go to: http://www.psychosissucks.ca/epi/