Transforming child and youth mental health care: ACCESS Open Minds New Brunswick in the rural Francophone region of the Acadian Peninsula

Early Interv Psychiatry. 2019 Jun;13 Suppl 1(Suppl Suppl 1):29-34. doi: 10.1111/eip.12815.


Aim: This paper describes how the transformation of youth mental health services in the rural Francophone region of the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick, Canada, is meeting the five objectives of ACCESS Open Minds.

Methods: Implementation of the ACCESS Open Minds framework of care in the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick began in 2016 at a well-established volunteer centre and community-based mental health organization. Through focus groups with youth aged 14 to 22 (n = 13), community mapping was used to describe the youth-related mental health service transformation, followed by thematic analysis, validation by member checking and triangulation.

Results: Preliminary results show a generally successful implementation of the ACCESS Open Minds model, as evidenced by the transformation of mental health service provision, the enhancement of capacity in human resources and the participation of youth. Transformation was evidenced across the five objectives of mental healthcare of ACCESS Open Minds, albeit to variable extents. Several facilitating factors and challenges are identified based on youths' accounts.

Conclusions: It is possible to successfully implement the ACCESS Open Minds model among francophones living in a minority setting and despite the constraints of a rural area. Most key components of the framework were implemented with high program fidelity. The rural context presents unique challenges that require creative and effective use of resources, while offering opportunities that arise from a culture of resourcefulness and collaboration.

Keywords: Canada; access; francophone linguistic minority; mental health care; transformation; youth; youth mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Health Plan Implementation / organization & administration
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • New Brunswick
  • Poverty
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Young Adult