ACCESS Open Minds

A walk-in service in Edmonton for young people 16-25 years old

Young people are able to walk in and be seen on a first come first serve basis. They meet with a clinician for a solution-focused counselling session and are screened to determine if more intensive services may be required. Clinicians provide support and guidance from start to finish, ensuring follow-through on the road to appropriate care.

Young people can return to the walk-in clinic as needed or participate in individual and group services including addiction counselling, short-term psychotherapy, social work consultation, assistance with employment or education, or referral to psychiatry. At all times, the youth is the ultimate judge of whether their needs are being met and the services provided are appropriate. Families and other care givers can find support for themselves through the Family Engagement Team.


ACCESS Open Minds Main Objectives:

  • Early identification—targeting a 20% decrease in the number of youth with unmet mental health needs
  • Rapid access—within 72 hours of help being sought
  • Continuity of care—no arbitrary service cut off at age 18
  • Youth & family/caregiver participation—collaborative planning of pathways of care
  • Appropriate care—referral to the right services within a maximum of 30 days

Why this Project is Important

The need for improved access to mental health services, particularly for youth, is urgent. Adolescence and young adulthood is a time of significant transition and development and it’s during this life stage that over 75% of mental health disorders first appear. There are many mental health and addiction services available but less than 25% of Canadian youth and young adults receive the care they require in a timely manner.