Diversity and Inclusion Rooms to Support Better Health Outcomes for Children and Youth with Complex Care Needs

The Cause

The development of 2 therapeutic spaces including snoezelen multi-sensory equipment and culturally supportive and agile materials.

The development of these resources will immediately benefit the population we serve; children, youth and high risk young people living with substance misuse issues and mental health presentations. I would like to expand the specific provision of multi sensory therapy and culturally appropriate support within the clinic by creating a full snoezelen room and culturally diverse counselling center.

A snoezelen room provides young people with a space to process trauma and mental health symptoms that is soothing, safe and conducive to the emotional regulation of a person allowing them to process their experience through interaction with their environment and creative engagement with a clinician.

A space dedicated to cultural agility and awareness reinforces the importance and value of an individuals culture throughout the treatment process. Specifically a cultural room can be used to create awareness and understanding of the Indigenous culture, as well as those of immigrant populations, allowing children and youth to feel safe and connected to a therapeutic space. A cultural room is made up of and displays cultural materials and teachings grounded in evidence based tools and resources. It serves to support those from different cultural backgrounds and allows for the education of those challenged by racist ideologies and closed minded thinking.

Who Will it Benefit?

Children and youth between the ages of 3 to 17 years of age experiencing challenges with substance misuse, homelessness and mental health issues. The Team I serve is made up of
- a youth addiction team,
- a child and youth mental health team,
- a child and youth psychiatry clinic
- a complex care team
- a youth detox program
- a protective safe house for youth

Children and youth able to access services throughout the Grande Prairie area specifically but also extending to the North Zone as a whole as many of our services are available to children and youth living in rural and remote areas of Northern Alberta.