On Aug 23, two Foundry Vancouver-Granville teams were among the 15 successful teams receiving funding through the annual PHC Practice-based Research Challenge, for their research project: Experiences of Indigenous youth accessing mental health care through primary care and psychiatry at two inner-city integrative community health centres. 

The Research Challenge is a competition open to point-of-care PHC staff and offers research teams the opportunity to work with a mentor to develop a research proposal around a research question, where they learn basic research skills and compete with other teams for funding to conduct a small-scale research project.  

Presentations were judged by a panel comprised of scientific and Patient and Family Partner reviewers.  

Winning teams receive up to $5,000 each in research award funding to conduct their research over an 18-month period. 

Learn more about their project below: 

Experiences of Indigenous youth accessing mental health care through primary care and psychiatry at two inner-city integrative community health centres.  

Team members: 

  • Janae Dunlop RN 
  • Lyn Heinemann OT 
  • Emily Leake NP 
  • Sarah Cochrane NP 
  • Courteney Durand PFP 

Young people aged 15–24 are more likely to experience mental health and/or substance use disorders than any other age group. As a result of the negative impacts of colonization, cultural oppression and historical trauma, Indigenous youth experience a disproportionate burden of mental health and substance use concerns with even more barriers to accessing care than non-Indigenous youth. Primary care and mental health services in urban settings have generally not been adapted to serve the needs of Indigenous young people.  

The aim of this project is to gain an understanding of the experiences of Indigenous youth ages 16-24 years who have accessed mental health care through primary care and psychiatry at two urban health centres. Findings may help service providers optimize the care outcomes and experiences of urban Indigenous youth and directions for future research.  

What is the experience of youth transitioning from Foundry youth services to adult care? 

Team members: 

  • Farzana Rayani – Nurse Practitioner 
  • Chelsea Stratton – Rehab Assistant
  • Ingrid Mayer – Patient Family Partner 
  • Danielle O’Callaghan – Patient Partner 

Our research project will look at the experience of youth transitioning from Foundry integrative youth services to adult care, or independence.  Foundry is a community-based youth (age 16-25 years) mental health and substance use clinic. Foundry Services are comprehensive and offer mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services, and youth and family peer supports. 

Due to this “one stop shop” approach to care, our clinic is heavily involved in many aspects of a client’s life until they turn 25. There is currently no transition pathway or plan in place that Foundry clinicians can use to guide clients through the ageing out process.  

To explore this transition period, we will complete a qualitative research study using interviews and focus groups with former Foundry clients to identify the ways their health, and overall wellbeing has changed since ageing out of Foundry care. Our goal is to use the information gathered and to develop a pathway Foundry can use to better support and prepare our clients as they transition out of our care.   

Foundry Vancouver-Granville is part of the Foundry network, a growing provincial and national network that includes over 200 partnerships. It also serves as one of 12 Foundry centres across BC that provides free and confidential health and wellness services for young people ages 12-24.  

“The Foundry Network is a Learning Health System,” says Dr. Skye Barbic, Head Scientist, Foundry. “The Research Challenge is an opportunity to create, acquire, and transfer new knowledge from one centre and share insights with partner organizations in Vancouver and across the entire Foundry network. 

“The success of these teams shows incredible commitment from service providers at Foundry Vancouver Granville. We are grateful to their commitment to generate and share evidence to improve the outcomes and experience of youth and families.” 

Congratulations to Janae Dunlop, Lyn Heinemann, Emily Leake, Sarah Cochrane, Courteney Durand, Farzana Rayani, Chelsea Stratton, Ingrid Mayer, Danielle O’Callaghan on this award!  




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