bring hope and vitality to our communities, today and for the future.

Health & wellbeing

are essential to their development as young adults.

1 in 5

youth experience mental health and substance use challenges that affect their ability to thrive at home and school.

Now is the time

to reimagine health care for youth and their families in communities across BC.


we can make this happen.


A network of health and social services to meet the needs of our youth and young adults

The British Columbia Integrated Youth Services Initiative (BC-IYSI) will transform how youth and young adults access health and social services within BC.

1 in 0 youth aged 15 – 24 report mental ill-health or problematic substance use.
young people under the age of 24 sought help for mental ill-health or problematic substance use services in British Columbia (2012-13)
* Source: Health Sector Information, Analytics and Reporting, Ministry of Health, 2015.
0% of all mental ill-health or problematic substance use appears before the age of 25.


The BC-IYSI is a provincial movement of community agencies, government, donors, young people and families coming together to transform systems. Currently, the BC-IYSI involves over 70 partnerships across the province dedicated to empowering our young people. Together, we will change the way young people access health and social services across British Columbia.

Download our background document

Young people experience higher rates of mental illness and substance use than any other age group, and may face challenges in accessing the services they need to improve their wellbeing. By bringing together core services and supports, the BC-IYSI will support youth aged 12-24 and their families with easy access to care. Whether a young person needs support for anxiety or depression, wants to see a family doctor or is struggling with a stressful situation, we will help them get the services they need.

Working with our partners, we will establish a branded network of “one-stop shop” youth centres, including the prototype site at the Granville Youth Health Centre. These centres will offer health, counselling, mental health, substance use and social supports, as well as youth and family support and navigation. We will also work with partners to help integrate and build on existing provincial online and telephone resources to strengthen a network of care for young British Columbians and their families, regardless of where they live.

Our Principles

The BC-IYSI is committed to working with youth, families, and community organizations, as well as government officials to meet our stated objectives. Our guiding principles include:

  • A comprehensive system of care ensures that health promotion, prevention and early intervention are core components of our services.
  • Services need to be timely, accessible, developmentally appropriate, socially inclusive and equitable, and culturally sensitive, congruent, and safe.
  • Services are youth- and family-centred, collaborative and empowering to both.
  • Integration of services should occur through intentional partnerships and collaborative inter-sectorial working relationships, with special attention on the actual process of integration.
  • All services should be evidence- and trauma-informed and effective.

Background: A need identified

September 2014 - Transforming Access to Health and Social Services for Transition-Aged Youth (12-25) in British Columbia was submitted to the Select Standing Committee (SSC) on Children and Youth. The proposal called for a branded network of integrated health and social service centres across the province, as well as a framework for continuing research and evaluation.

February 2015 - In 2015, Ministry of Health released Primary and Community Care in BC: A Strategic Policy Framework, outlining the need to establish community-based services that are integrated, comprehensive, and “wrap around” the patient. The aim of this strategic shift is to transform a system focused mainly on acute hospital care to a proactive system of primary and community care built to address changing client/patient needs early and more effectively, utilizing a collaborative team-based model.

June 2015 - The BC- IYSI Working Group was formed to develop an implementation plan for the prototype, 5 centre phase. The Working Group membership included multiple stakeholders and representatives from health operations and government ministries.

July 2015 - MCFD completes its research review draft, Designing Mental Health Service Delivery to Better Meet the Needs of Youth. This review focused on approaches and promising practices in the literature and from other jurisdictions. The review is intended as a core resource informing discussions on improvement of integrated, community-oriented mental health service delivery for YYA in the province.

October 2015 - Establishing a System of Care for People Experiencing MHSU Issues (draft) is released by the Ministry of Health. The document envisions the cornerstone of health services across the province to be the establishment of “primary care homes” that include full service family practice and specific MHSU services.

The BC-Integrated Youth Services Initiative is launched.

December 2015 - An Expression of Interest for community applications for a BC-IYSI Centre was launched.

February 2016 - Twenty-five communities from across British Columbia submitted their application. After review by an interdisciplinary panel, 13 communities were invited to create a detailed proposal for an integrated youth health and social services centre.

June 2016 - The 13 proposals were reviewed by an independent, interdisciplinary panel, which included representation from family, youth, provincial government, health authorities, frontline health workers, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, and national bodies including the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The final decision was incredibly difficult as the quality of proposals was high. The communities that were selected for this first phase are: Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George, North Shore and Abbotsford.

What is an Integrated Health and Social Service Centre?

While communities have several services for young people, and many passionate individuals dedicated to helping them, it can still be very challenging for young people and their families to know where to go for the help they need. We have heard the frustration of trying to find “the right service” and of having to “retell my story.”

The BC-IYSI and our over 70 partners want to transform this experience by bringing existing services together in one place. The centres will be “one-stop” storefronts, non-stigmatizing, and designed with youth input so they don’t have a traditional clinical look and feel. They will have accessible hours and be on popular transit routes. The centres will be co-branded, marketed to young people aged 12 to 24, and supported by province-wide anti-stigma and awareness campaigns.

We believe in a holistic approach, meaning we won’t focus on one area of support, such as mental health or primary health care. Instead, we will bring together multiple that young people need. Whether someone visits one of our centres for a general health need, for support with coping with stress and anxiety, or any other health issue, they will also have access to all the other services within the centre. Providing health services that are co-located or integrated with social services, builds on the determinants of health, leading to resilience and wellness—the ultimate goals of care.

We will reduce barriers and waitlists by working in one supportive, safe place. Care and supports will be delivered in a stepped care model, meaning the level of service will be matched to the level of need. This way resources are used in the most efficient and effective way.

Our care teams will work together to provide a safe, non-judgmental space and empower young people with the care, tools and strategies they need to thrive in life.

Core Services

Primary Care
Mental Health Services
Substance Use Services
Social Services
Youth and Family Peer Supports

Campbell River

Lead agency

John Howard Society of North Island


Ministry of Health
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Vancouver Island Health Authority
School District 72
North Island Employment Foundation

Kwakiutl District Council
Sasamans Society
Campbell River Family Services
Campbell River Community Literacy Association
Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice

Prince George

Lead agency

YMCA of Northern BC


Ministry of Children and Family Development
Northern Health
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

School District 57
Prince George and District Elizabeth Fry Society
Justice Education Society
Prince George Division of Family Practice

North Shore

Lead agency

Vancouver Coastal Health


Ministry of Children and Family Development
CMHA North and West Vancouver Branch
Hollyburn Family Services

West Vancouver School District
North Vancouver School District
District of North Vancouver
City of North Vancouver


Lead agency

Abbotsford Community Services


Ministry of Children and Family Development
Impact Youth Substance Use Services
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Fraser Valley Youth Society
Abbotsford School District (School District 34)

Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society
UBC Family Practice Residency Program
PHSA - Trans Care BC
Abbotsford Division of Family Practice
Urban Health Research Initiative
Fraser Health


Lead agency

Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna Branch


Interior Health
Ministry of Children and Family Development
ARC Programs
The Bridge Youth and Family Services
Okanagan Boys and Girls Club
School District 23
Reach Out Youth Counselling
YMCA of Okanagan
Kelowna Community Resources
BC Housing
Aboriginal Education Council
Living Positive Resource Centre

Maximus Canada (Operating as WORK BC)
Stepping Stones Counselling Group
The FORCE/Institute of Families
Options for Sexual Health
Central Okanagan Food Bank
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Central Okanagan Divisions of Family Practice
Institute of Families/The FORCE Society
CYMHSU Collaborative Central Okanagan LAT
UBC Okanagan

Vancouver Granville

Lead agency

Providence Health Care


BC Housing
Broadway Youth Resource Centre
Coast Mental Health
Covenant House
St. Paul’s Foundation

Youth and Family Centred Care

We believe young people should have an active voice in their care. Their input informs the help and support they receive to increase access to services and better meet their needs.

Instead of having to navigate which youth services would be the right fit, and re-tell their story over and over, young people will have a clear pathway and support to get the help they need under one roof.

“It’s awesome because when you show up to the health centre it’s not just seeing your case manager or your psychiatrist. I find it easier to go to one place instead of going to many places to see a ministry person, someone for primary care, or attending a recreation group. Having described all the services under one roof is nice, but having awesome staff who treat you like a real person, no matter what situation, is totally AWESOME.” – Amy, describing her experience on receiving integrated care at the Granville Youth Health Centre

The BC-IYSI Centre is a transformative model where youth and their families benefit from integrated, wrap-around care intended to support the wellness of the whole family. The onsite navigators assist youth in co-developing an individualized plan of care to build a personalized support team to meet the needs of each youth accessing services within the centre.

The BC-IYSI care model respects and supports the rights of young people, as well as the essential role that families play in their lives. FamilySmart™ will be embedded into all aspects of the BC-IYSI and the regional health centres will each have a peer support and navigation.

Granville Youth Health Centre

The Granville Youth Health Centre is our first example of a “one-stop shop” centre in BC. We offer a variety of health and social services in a youth friendly space reflecting the community that we serve. The new BC-IYSI Centres are inspired by the Granville Youth Health Centre.

Located on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, the Granville Youth Health Centre offers a “one-stop” storefront for youth.
The Granville Youth Health Centre space is youth-friendly and inviting, and the offers a non-stigmatizing approach to care.
The Inner City Youth team worked with staff, physicians and clients to create a look and feel for the clinic.
The Granville Youth Health Centre offers primary care as well as mental health and substance use care.
At the Centre, youth can also access a wide array of integrated services, such as groups and clubs, learn about life skills such as cooking, and get help with housing, unemployment, or education.

How you can help

Help us create storefront centres throughout BC, so our young people can thrive!

Each dollar you give leverages at least $10 more from our partners.

Donate today through St. Paul’s Foundation – one of our fundraising partners. 100% of your donation will go to the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative.


b4stage4: Changing the way we think about mental health and addiction
Presented by Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division

Mon, 28 Nov 2016, 8:00 AM –
Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 4:00 PM

720 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8W 3M7

Featured Keynote Speaker: Rt Hon Norman Lamb, UK Member of Parliament

The Canadian Mental Health Association is influencing practice through policy by bringing together international leaders, policy makers, researchers, and advocates to help BC think differently about mental health and addiction. For more information about this conference, including registration and full program details, please visit:

Sign Up For Updates