NorthBEAT: A mixed-method approach to examine the needs of youth in Northern and rural Canada

Poster C22, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Chiachen Cheng1,2, Shevaun Nadin1,3, Mae Katt3, Carole Lem1, Carolyn S. Dewa4,5, Bruce Minore3; 1Centre for Applied Health Research - St. Joseph's Care Group, Thunder Bay, 2Canadian Mental Health Association - Thunder Bay Branch, 3Lakehead University, 4Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 5Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - University of California, Davis

Background/Objectives: At the 2014 IEPA meeting in Tokyo, we presented preliminary results from our narrative interviews in the NorthBEAT (Barriers to Early Assessment and Treatment) project. NorthBEAT is a mixed-method project that explored the service needs of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Northern Ontario who experience first episode psychosis. In Northern Ontario (a region with an expansive geography and many Indigenous communities), programs struggle to understand and meet service needs. The narrative interviews are highlighted in a separate presentation. This presentation will focus on the findings from the complete study. Approach: A mixed-methods approach was adopted. Qualitative interviews explored adolescents’ experience with accessing mental health services for their psychosis (participants were youth ≤18 years old who have experienced psychosis, their family care-givers, and rural mental health service providers who were recruited from 10 project sites across all of Northern Ontario). Structured assessments were conducted on a subsample of the youth to gain a snapshot of their functional status. End-of-grant workshops also held with project participants and stakeholders to verify interpretation of the study results and explore modes of knowledge exchange. Results/Conclusions: The interview findings revealed barriers to (and facilitators of) early assessment and treatment for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth; some of which are unique to the rural and remote study context. Bringing together multiple stakeholders for the end-of-grant workshops strengthened the project and its results, and also created innovative arts-based knowledge translation products. The implications of these findings and next steps for the NorthBEAT Project will be discussed.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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