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Youth must be part of designing their own mental health services

"Any parent who has tried to access mental health help for a child knows just how challenging that can be.

“You need coordination across multiple siloed systems,” explains Dr. Seema Marwaha, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. You need the health care system to interact with the education system, possibly even social services. “It’s a bureaucratic nightmare,” says Marwaha, who is also editor-in-chief of healthy debate (, a website that’s mission is to make unbiased, evidenced-based health information available to the public in an accessible way.

But if it’s hard for us to make our way through those systems — even leveraging all our grown-up resources of experience, vocabulary and willingness to be the squeakiest of wheels for our children — imagine how hard it is for the children and youth who need help the most."

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