The Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition’s early psychosis intervention program was the first in Canada to implement NAVIGATE, an evidence-based model of coordinated specialty care shown to improve quality of life including employment. One major challenge for young people who come to CAMH for psychosis treatment is housing instability. Now, for the first time, CAMH’s NAVIGATE will be directly integrated with LOFT’s transitional housing services.
Thanks to a $500,000 donation from the Slaight Family Foundation, LOFT is retrofitting a dedicated 7- room home in Toronto to provide a stable living environment as well as wraparound clinical supports for young people (age 18-26) who are receiving early psychosis intervention and require a period of more intensive supports and stable housing. LOFT already has 4 integrated housing sites in partnership with CAMH for seniors and patients who have been involved with the justice system. This will be the first integrated housing site dedicated exclusively to youth with mental illness.
“Housing is a human right and is essential for physical and mental health. It is particularly critical that young people experiencing psychosis have a safe and stable living environment to support their recovery,” says co-director of the Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition Dr. Nicole Kozloff. “Psychosis typically first presents at a time in a young person’s life when they are making decisions and plans related to their schooling and careers and establishing important relationships and solidifying their identity; all of that tends to get put on pause while they navigate treatment. But so many of the young people we serve are also navigating unstable living situations, which makes it that much harder to engage in the services that can support them in their recovery. This partnership will help more young people continue to get the treatment and supports they need.”
“For the first time in years, I felt like myself again,” says former LOFT client Andrew. “Now, I have more stability in my life. I’m reconnecting with my family and building my business. My life story is just beginning. The first chapter was about me transitioning from a miserable, confused teen to a young man with a bright future. And I couldn’t have done it without LOFT.”
About LOFT’s Transitional Age Youth Program (TAY)
Serving 800 young people a year, LOFT has an established service hub in downtown Toronto with a team of over 30 staff including case managers and peer support workers. All youth accessing this program will have access to all of LOFT’s Transitional Age Youth services, including supportive housing (LOFT operates 100 supportive housing units dedicated to youth), campus mental health, 24/7 crisis support by phone or text, dialectical behavioural therapy groups including one dedicated to BIPOC youth, cognitive behavioural therapy, specialized addiction group support on evenings and weekends, social groups and recreational activities and access to trained peer mentors.
About the Slaight Centre Early Intervention Service
The Slaight Centre provides accessible, stigma-free coordinated specialty care to young people age 14-29 experiencing psychosis. CAMH also has a specialized Early Psychosis Unit for patients requiring hospital admission, providing seamless integration between inpatient and outpatient services.