By youth, for youth: discussing the implications of NorthBEAT’s youth engagement strategy for early psychosis advocacy in Ontario.



C. Lem, D. Eddington, A. Laflamme, A. Ryan, H.Grant, H. Zachozy, M. Forget, A. Yip, B. Cooper, C. Cheng

Background: The NorthBEAT Collaborative is a four-year research-to-action initiative committed to helping youth with psychosis in Northwestern Ontario get the help they need, when they need it. The Collaborative has over 30 signed organizations—including EPION and its PEAK (Partnerships, Education, Access and Knowledge Translation) working group—spanning health services, child and youth programs, first responders, community and social services, and education sectors. NorthBEAT has also established two youth and family advisory groups who guide the Collaborative’s activities, provide ongoing feedback, and support the co-creation of targeted educational resources.
Objectives: We will provide a brief overview of NorthBEAT’s youth advisory group (#northbeatYAG) and its successes, challenges, and activities to date. We will introduce the ways in which the YAG has supported EPION’s PEAK working group, including a social media campaign linking to resources on the EPION website. Particular emphasis will be placed on lessons learned and how EPION may be able to engage youth in the PEAK working group.
Discussion: We invite youth in attendance at the EPION conference to participate in an informal discussion about their own experiences with youth groups, engagement practices, and new ideas for youth engagement in early psychosis. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences, ideas and feedback for NorthBEAT’s youth advisory group. Reflecting on the existing partnerships between EPION and the NorthBEAT YAG, participants will help brainstorm ways to increase youth representation on the PEAK working group.

Lived Experience Peer Support Workers