Sharing the podium: Identifying solutions to meaningfully collaborate with youth in mental health and substance use research

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) are key health concerns for youth in British Columbia. Involving youth in research for these topics improves the development of MHSU interventions and solutions. However, youth may not want to engage in MHSU research due to concerns about confidentiality, stigma, and other barriers. Researchers may also perceive barriers in finding and working with youth researchers.

Our project goal is to identify barriers for youth engagement in MHSU research and recommend solutions for these issues. Two key activities will be used to bring together youths and researchers to identify the perceived barriers for each group and how these barriers can be overcome. These activities include a small-group discussion (utilizing nominal group technique) and a World Cafe. Our team will synthesize these results and outline a list of recommendations for youth engagement in MHSU research. We also plan to use this output to pursue additional funding for a pilot study using these recommendations. The pilot study would measure changes in youth research engagement and research outcomes due to the recommendations.

Team members: Dan Nixon (Providence Health Care and Foundry); Krista Glowacki (UBC); Kirsten Marchand (Providence Health Care and Foundry); Nikki Ow (UBC); Travis Salway (SFU); Hasina Samji (SFU); Steve Mathias (Providence Health Care and Foundry); Renee Cormier (Providence Health Care and Foundry); Anne Gadermann (UBC); Sarah Munro (UBC); Amanda Butler (Providence Health Care and Foundry); Chloe Gao (UBC)