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GAIN Collaborating Network launches youth screening project

On Monday, January 19th, the Global Assessment of Individual Needs - Short Screener (GAIN-SS) project was launched. From CAMH, Deputy Clinical Director Gloria Chaim and Scientist Joanna Henderson of the Child Youth & Family Program, with the assistance of System Planner Susan Smither from Policy, Education and Health Promotion, collaborated with local youth-serving agencies to launch this six-month pilot project to implement GAIN-SS; a brief addictions and mental health screening tool in ten agencies.

GAIN Collaborating Network, from left to right: Susan Fragis (Turning Point Youth Services); Marose Coniega (Canadian Mental Health Association); Myra Levy (East Metro Youth Services); Susan Smither (System Planner, CAMH); Gloria Chaim (Deputy Clinical Director, Child Youth and Family Program, CAMH); Joanna Henderson (Clinical Psychologist and Independent Clinician Scientist, Child, Youth & Family Program, CAMH); Heather McDonald (LOFT); Diana Nelson (YMCA); Melani Seymour (Breakaway). Not pictured: Diane Broad (Griffin Centre); Dr. Karen Leslie (Hospital for Sick Children Substance Abuse Program); Michelle Lavergne and Erika Rukin (North York Branson).

Concurrent disorders have been found amongst youth involved in a variety of service sectors including mental health, addictions, housing, health and social services and can be associated with academic problems, relationship difficulties, and suicide. This highlights the need to link youth with appropriate services regardless of the sector they are initially involved with.

“We found there was a lack of common tools and processes across the different youth-serving sectors that limited our understanding of the needs of young people,” said Gloria Chaim. The aim is to have every youth, aged 12 to 24, who is seeking service at a collaborating agency complete a background demographic form and the GAIN-SS.

Ten Toronto youth-serving agencies have come together as the GAIN Collaborating Network, in a cross-sectoral initiative to consistently screen youth presenting at their agencies for addiction and mental health concerns.

The GAIN Collaborating Network meets to discuss the project

The GAIN-CN would like to thank the Toronto Addictions Service Providers’ Working Group for demonstrating their support for this initiative by approving access to funds collected by the former Toronto Area Addiction Services Committee (TAASC) to assist in supporting the evaluation and community dissemination of the final report.

The Collaborating Agencies include: CAMH, Canadian Mental Health Association, Transitional Aged Substance Use Program, North York General Hospital: Branson Site, Breakaway, East Metro Youth Services, Hospital for Sick Children-Substance Abuse Program, Turning Point Youth Services, Griffin Centre-Day Treatment, LOFT, Youth Outreach and Intervention Program of YMCA of Greater Toronto.

For further information, please contact Gloria Chaimgloria_chaim@camh.net or Joanna Hendersonjoanna_henderson@camh.net

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