COVID-19 presented (and continues to present) significant and unique challenges to the young people and the families/caregivers we serve. Disruptions to school and access to services such as counselling, alongside the impacts of social distancing, have left many struggling. When the pandemic was first declared, the Foundry team mobilized to respond to these extenuating circumstances and support BC youth and their families/caregivers during this hard time. In a recent article published in Global Health Promotion, we describe our process of designing with, by and for youth our communications response. At the onset of this work we set out to achieve the following three goals:

  1. to amplify (and translate for young people and their families/caregivers) key messages released by government to support public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. to develop content that supports the needs of young people and their families/caregivers that existed before COVID-19 and are likely to be exacerbated as a result of this pandemic; and
  3. to develop and host opportunities through social media and website articles to engage young people and their families/caregivers by creating a sense of community and promoting togetherness and social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this article, our team offers learnings and recommendations to other health promotion and integrated youth service organizations for future preparedness in the face of emergent communication needs. As always, the leadership of young people and their families/caregivers helped build our response – and they’ll continue to shape it well into the future.  Read the full article here.