A redesigned and enhanced mindcheck.ca is now a provincial resource. mindcheck.ca, is a youth and young adult-focused interactive website where visitors can check out how they’re feeling and get connected to support early and quickly. Support includes education, self-help tools, website links, and assistance in connecting to local professional resources.
Recommendations are reflective of results generated by easy-to-use screening tools. Families and friends, and professionals who work with young adults can also visit the site to find support.
Initially launched in spring 2010 as part of Fraser Health’s Youth and Young Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Early Intervention Pilot Project in the communities of Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley, mindcheck.ca has recently undergone a redesign. Improvements have been made to enhance its visual appeal and functionality and to broaden its reach to support not only all communities in Fraser Health but across the province. The expansion to a provincial resource comes thanks to a partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority’s BC Mental Health and Addiction Services (BCMHAS).
mindcheck.ca complements the work of the BCMHAS Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, BC's Information Source for Children, Youth and Families.
mind check’s public awareness program raises recognition of the early symptoms – feelings, thoughts and behaviours – that a youth or young adult may experience or that a parent, teacher or friend may observe, in the early stages of a mental health or substance use issue. Program materials direct them to mindcheck.ca to check it out.
Mental health and substance use disorders are the primary health issues experienced by young people in their teen years and early 20s. In fact, one in five youth in B.C. will experience a mental health or substance use disorder serious enough to cause significant distress and impair their ability to function at home, at school or work and with their peers.
Often early symptoms or behaviours are mislabelled as being just a phase or part of an individual’s personality. In addition, youth and young adults are often embarrassed to talk about or seek support for how they’re feeling or what they’re experiencing due to stigma.
75% of mental health and substance use issues begin by age 24 and often go unrecognized and untreated. mind check has been developed to connect youth and young adults to support early and quickly to prevent initial problems and challenges from developing into disorders. Support includes self-help, nonprofessional support or established mental health services.
When issues are identified early, simple self-help strategies are often all that are needed to help young people get better in less time and can prevent things from becoming worse.
mindcheck.ca’s formal provincial launch is supported by the Vancouver Canucks. In the fall of 2011, the Canucks for Kids Fund pledged $50K to BC Mental Health and Addiction Services through the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation in memory of long-time Canucks forward Rick Rypien. The Canucks involvement will help promote mindcheck.ca and support the ‘In One Voice’ video submission campaign. To broaden the reach and increase public awareness and support for mental health issues, BC residents will have the opportunity to add their video to the ‘In One Voice’ campaign within the site by recording and uploading a pledge. Information about this campaign can be found at mindcheck.ca/inonevoice.
What’s new about mindcheck.ca?
- a more interactive and engaging home page
- language changes that reflect a more youthful tone
- improved functionality / access
- revision of the psychosis screening tool
- newly designed learn more section • an improved results and feedback page
Valuable feedback from young people engaged in the evaluation process informed many of the changes.
We will continue developing the website to enhance quality and appeal for young people. Among the changes to come:
- mindcheck.ca will be expanded to include social anxiety and disordered eating
- the website will be enhanced for mobile technology
- social media – facebook, twitter, youtube - will be used for website and health literacy promotion
- video and info-graphics will be added
Please go to www.mindcheck.ca and check out the website and share information about mind check with family, friends and colleagues.
Public awareness materials for your use to promote mind check will soon be available on the website. Stay tuned!
For more information
- Karen Tee, Manager, Child, Youth and Young Adult Mental Health & Substance Use, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nicole Chovil, Projects and Initiatives Coordinator, Child, Youth and Young Adult Mental Health & Substance Use,email@example.com
- Andrew Tugwell, Program Manager, Health Literacy, BC Mental Health & Addiction Services, firstname.lastname@example.org