Youth hubs are intended to be welcoming spaces where youth can access services to support their mental health, including a variety of in-person and virtual options. Youth hubs can reduce barriers to accessing early-intervention mental health services that holistically address the diverse needs of youth. Youth hubs also help improve outcomes and satisfaction with services and can decrease the need for intensive intervention at emergency departments.

In recognition of the protective and preventive benefits that youth hubs provide, Myles to Marsmission is to support the co-design of best practices for new youth hubs in underserved areas and the co-integration of those practices for existing youth hubs throughout Canada.

Informed by a global literature review of current, emerging, and best practices and a comprehensive landscape assessment of existing youth hubs in Canada, the Myles to Mars initiative will include a youth hub framework and implementation toolkit. This framework and toolkit will enable existing youth hubs to identify advancement opportunities towards evidence-informed best practices and provide co-design implementation strategies for new youth hubs.

Now that the literature review and landscape assessment are complete, Myles Ahead is excited to be collaborating with a team of youth from two incredible organizations: Frayme, “a global network built to gather and share the best evidence and practice-based knowledge about integrated youth services, and to put it into action in communities around the world” and Finding Our Power Together, “an Indigenous-led non-profit organization supporting Indigenous youth to access support and relationships that enable them to thrive.”

Throughout the co-design phase of the framework and toolkit, key components will be identified to best support youth hubs, such as engagement with youth and family, in addition to integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion. The framework will also include therapeutic considerations and areas of focus for each youth hub, such as gender identity and trauma-informed services, as well as a comprehensive list of best practices for mental health services and design of the space.

Once finalized and published, Myles Ahead will work to support scaling best practices and the proliferation of youth hubs leveraging Myles to Mars’ framework and toolkit in partnership with organizations across Canada.

In addition to honouring Myles Kulperger, “Myles to Mars” is dedicated to Mars Phoenix Miazga-Kaufman, who died by suicide in November 2020. Like Myles, Mars shared the desire to help the world become more empathetic and compassionate towards young people who struggle to maintain mental balance and wellness.

 With thanks to our corporate donors and strategic partners…