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Children and youth in challenging contexts, both in Canada and overseas, face common threats to their mental health that can be better addressed when researchers, service providers, practitioners, and communities pool their knowledge, resources, and lessons learned of what works best for improving young peoples’ mental health. If these groups continue to work within their occupational and disciplinary boundaries, they will fail to mobilize the full potential of the evidence documented by researchers, the practice-related knowledge of service providers and practitioners, and the local knowledge of communities. The CYCC Network was developed in response to this need and in the summer of 2013, released three thematic knowledge synthesis reports: violence, technology, and youth engagement.
Violence against children and youth, in particular, is a complex public health problem that affects communities worldwide, and can lead to potentially devastating consequences for young people and their families if left unaddressed. To tackle this problem, a coordinated effort to share and document best practices for addressing young peoples’ mental health needs is urgently needed. Without opportunities to share this knowledge, there is a risk of delivering potentially ineffective interventions that are difficult for young people and their families to access or relate to. Additionally, poorly-researched or evaluated interventions often ignore the structural barriers (e.g. limited access to mental health practitioners, stigma, and a lack of resources to evaluate programs) that shape young peoples’ mental health and wellbeing. In light of these challenges, the knowledge synthesis report on violence explores the effective strategies used among children and youth in challenging contexts who have been exposed to violence, in order to help them overcome trauma and feel safe in their families, schools, and communities.
Read and download the full report at http://cyccnetwork.org/violence