Family Navigation Project
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Youth Engagement Strategy

The Family Navigation Project (FNP) is a service for youth ages 11-29 and their families in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to help them find and gain access to timely, accessible, and youth-friendly mental health and/or addictions (MHA) care. FNP’s service across the GTA includes Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto, and York region.

FNP has always been guided by the lived experiences of caregivers navigating the MHA system in support of youth. This guidance has made a significant impact in our model, which offers support to families as a youth’s ally through their mental health journey. We are intentionally making a shift to further embrace lived experience by creating opportunities for youth to share what it is like for them to access and move through the MHA system to enhance FNP’s support for youth. Youth-lived expertise will enrich our established program and support our strategic priorities to continue to best serve youth and their families across the GTA.

The Youth Engagement Strategy is in line with FNP’s and Sunnybrook’s larger strategic vision. Read more about Sunnybrook’s Strategic Plan and FNP’s Strategic Plan.

We at FNP understand that the process of authentically engaging youth in all aspects of our service is critical to improving FNP and influencing positive change in the MHA system. We strongly believe that youth engagement in MHA care can have positive impacts for the youth and for their loved ones who support them in their mental health journeys. We want to thank FNP’s Family Advisory Council, the FNP team, and most importantly the youth who helped to provide guidance and feedback in the co-creation of this strategy. It is clear that the process of authentic youth engagement requires a significant investment, and we are excited and committed to continue this process. We plan to refine and improve our strategy with youth and other stakeholders’ input to ensure we are staying ahead of the everchanging MHA system landscape. As we embrace these shifts in our process, we remain as committed as ever to ensuring that no youth or family feels lost in the MHA system.

This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Patient-Oriented Research Catalyst Grant.

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