On Monday, April 4, the Clearwater Local Action Team (Clearwater LAT), one of 64 teams working as part of a provincial Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative, hosted its first ‘meet and greet’.
Forty service providers who care for children, youth, and their families struggling with mental health and substance use issues came from Clearwater, Barriere and Kamloops to have dinner and get to know each other better as well as learn more about the Clearwater LAT.
Physician lead Dr. John Soles spoke about the creation of the Clearwater LAT in October 2015.
“We felt it was important to join our colleagues in the Interior and the rest of B.C. to improve access to care for our children, youth, and families,” he said. “The Clearwater LAT team was established so we can collaborate at the local level towards this common goal.”
A partnership of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health, the collaborative involves over 2,000 stakeholders across the province, including youth, parents, family doctors, specialists, three government ministries, RCMP/police, school counsellors, Aboriginal groups, community agencies, and many others.
The goal of the 64 Local Action Teams and 11 Working Groups is to increase access to services and supports by addressing communication barriers, service delivery gaps, and coordination of care, not just at the local level, but system-wide.
The Clearwater LAT is equally diverse with representatives from local schools, Ministry of Children and Family Development, RCMP, family and specialist physicians, Aboriginal services, and other community organizations.
The team is working together on specific objectives for the Clearwater community, starting with creating a directory of local and provincial mental health and substance use services and supports, and looking at ways to standardize care across different sectors.
The meet and greet brought everyone together for introductions, and a number of ‘ice breaking’ games helped them learn about each other and the roles they hold in the mental health and substance use community – an important factor as the Clearwater LAT embarks on the work ahead.