ACCESS Open Minds at the University of Alberta
ACCESS Open Minds is an exciting nation-wide research project with the goal of developing an evidence-informed, sustainable, and scalable model for mental health service delivery that could transform youth mental health outcomes across Canada.
Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Graham Boeckh Foundation, ACCESS Open Minds is composed of 12 research and demonstration sites located in six provinces and one territory. The goals for each of the sites are:
- early identification;
- quick access for an initial assessment (within 72 hours);
- abolition of age-based transitions creating a seamless service for 11-25 year old youth; and
- access to high-quality, evidence-informed interventions within one month, when needed.
In addition to these goals, the University of Alberta ACCESS site aims to specifically:
- improve youth engagement in mental wellness and community supports;
- provide early access to resiliency-based resources through online and in-person initiatives; and
- to provide a range of appropriate interventions.
Ways to get involved at the U of A
ACCESS Youth Council
Facilitated by the U of A Community Social Work Team, this student-led committee works closely with the ACCESS Committee to support a youth-centric focus.
We are looking for students to provide voice and direction to the research project here at the U of A. These groups work to identify, evaluate, and review areas of student mental health to make recommendations that can improve outcomes.
- Assessment Tool Working Group
Objectives include identifying, evaluating and recommending existing self-assessment tools that can help students identify mental health challenges and provide self-help modules, recommendations and referrals to campus and community resources.
- Peer Mentorship/Training Inventory Working Group
Objectives include mapping all peer mentorship programs on campus and reviewing training provided to those in mentor roles, determining key competencies mentors should have/receive training on, and creating a training tool kit to be distributed to program providers that will enhance mentor training.
- Student E-Space Working Group
Objectives include identifying and mapping current student online spaces and recommending areas for development in supporting student mental health.