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Spaces & Places is a multi-site, visual methods study exploring spaces available to youth that establish a sense of community and cultural connection when facing increased risks. The goal is to identify the ways in which communities can build better civic and cultural engagement with youth, supporting positive life outcomes. The study has taken place in three communities, including here in Eskasoni, with a total of 25 Aboriginal youth between the ages of 12-18. We worked with youth in this age group because of the developmental crossroads they have reached in their interactions with their wider communities. Youth invited to the study were seen by community advisors as having something important to say about growing up well in their respective communities.


Break the Silence: Be the Change is a community-based project aimed at changing community dialogue and awareness around sexual violence. The project builds on research that nine young women and six young men (aged 16 – 22) from Eskasoni have carried out. This participatory action research began in 2016 as part of the Networks for Change and Wellbeing project. Drawing on these findings, we have designed a project that is aimed at initiating conversations around relationships, community and violence as it relates to sex, sexuality, and sexual violence. This youth-led initiative brings a critical and fresh insight into the causes of sexual violence and constructive, relevant ways of addressing the issue. It does this by developing an understanding of sexual violence against girls and young women in Eskasoni today, from the perspectives of both men and women. Simultaneously, it accounts for the historical backdrop of colonization, intergenerational trauma and continuing legacies of socioeconomic marginalization.


PRISM-ACCESS Open Minds is a services research project embedded within the ACCESS Open Minds model for youth mental health service transformation. It is an important component of its e-mental health strategy. PRISM-AOM aims to develop, implement, and evaluate the use of an online self-referral pathway to facilitate rapid and direct access to mental health services for youth. The pathway consists of an online self-referral tool, a referral management system, and a secure communications platform. 

Through this pathway, youth with mental health concerns will be able to connect with, and refer themselves directly to, a local team specializing in youth mental health care without a referral from their doctor, at a time that is convenient for them, from any place there is an Internet connection, using their phone, computer or tablet. Parents and counsellors will also be able to use the PRISM-AOM referral tool to refer a young person to mental health services. 


ACCESS Open Minds is a national research and evaluation network that marks a major Canadian innovation in youth mental health service design, delivery, evaluation, and research. Through transforming youth mental health services at 14 services sites in 6 provinces and 1 territory, and the implementation of a common research and evaluation program, ACCESS OM will generate new knowledge about youth mental health services in diverse contexts across Canada to ensure that Canadian youth receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.


The ACHH Initiative is working with communities and clinicians to bridge the gap in our understanding of Aboriginal children’s pain and hurt. We hope to design tools for culturally appropriate communication and treatment.


The Pathways to Resilience Research Project (PTR) is a mixed methods research study that examines service use patterns, personal and ecological risk factors, and aspects of the resilience of youth across different cultures, contexts, and with complex service histories. It began in Canada and now includes partners in at least five countries: Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Colombia, and China.


We partnered with communities to help identify the following;  

  • The culturally specific aspects of resilience (strengths and capacities) that young people in their community use to cope with problems.

  • The psychological, social, and environmental risks that young people face.

  • Young people’s service use patterns, i.e. their use of mandated services like Child Welfare, Corrections, Mental Health, Addictions, and Special Educational Services at school, their use of informal supports from their family and communities, and their use of informal services provided by families, communities, and local not-for-profit community organizations.


Frayme's network is comprised of diverse international partners working to create effective integrated systems of care and improving youth mental health services and supports.


Adolescence and young adulthood is a vulnerable time for the development of mental health disorders. An estimated 15 to 21% of young people in Canada and around the world are exhibiting at least one diagnosable mental illness.

Early intervention is important to reduce the costs and improve health and wellbeing. Many barriers exist as services are fragmented, under-resourced and difficult to access which is why a system transformation is needed now. 

We believe that youth in Canada and around the world should benefit from the latest knowledge in youth mental health and substance use research. We believe that healthy young people everywhere means a healthy future.   



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