Frayme believes that
all youth, young adults, and their families have access to the help they need to be well, when they need it, in the context in which they live.
Frayme is an international network
that connects mental health, health and social services working with youth and young adults to accelerate the integration and implementation of youth care in Canada and around the world.
"Over the past year, the work associated with getting Frayme off the ground and positioned to reach its full potential has been significant. We've benefited from in-kind and direct funding from many partners and we're extremely appreciative for everyone's commitment to making Frayme an international success. Together, we will drive change in youth mental health and substance use systems."
"From British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador and Australia to California, Frayme has become a truly international collaboration of the best and brightest coming to the table to share their knowledge, lived experience, expertise and research in integrated youth mental health and substance use care. The work has just begun for Frayme, but it is heartening to see so many voices helping guide us on the right path."
"Over the past year Frayme has positioned itself to address urgent priorities in youth mental health and addiction service delivery. Our work and the work of our network is ensuring that youth and family voices are at the centre of service design and that evidence is integrated into practice and policy in Canada and around the world. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this is especially true in the healthcare field - I encourage all of you working within mental health and substance use to take advantage of this unique opportunity to be part of a collaborative global network with a mission to ensure the best and brightest future for our youth."
Director of Operations
"Since our launch in June 2017, Frayme has grown from a concept into a full-fledged organization. As we developed the network from the ground up, we established a small but mighty Secretariat guided by a wonderful Board of Directors and Leadership Team - all committed to changing how youth interact with mental health care systems worldwide. We can already see the impact of the connections being made within the Frayme network - an exciting indication of what's to come."
The first time Nicholas van den Berg went to the emergency room for his anxiety and depression, he was sent home with a pamphlet.
Nicholas has struggled with depression and anxiety since his early teens. For the majority of that time, he dealt with his mental illness alone, hesitating to tell friends and family because of stigma. “You’re seen as weak and that it should be a matter of ‘manning’ up,” Nicholas said. “But it’s really not about being mopey or sad; it’s an illness just like any other.”
While Nicholas was still in his teens, his father, picking up on the fact that something was wrong with his son, insisted they go to the hospital emergency room, where they waited hours. When Nicholas finally did receive medical attention, it was chalked up to simply being a teenager going through puberty.
After that first time at emergency, Nicholas started seeing a psychologist. When therapy alone wasn’t enough, he was told there was an 8-month waiting list to see a psychiatrist.
“It made me feel hopeless. The psychologists saw my problems as inconsequential.”
When Nicholas entered university things escalated quickly. He started to self-medicate with alcohol and had thoughts related to suicidal ideation. After a suicidal act, Nicholas was again forced to seek help.
This time he was met with a better psychologist, specializing in treatment for youths, and was introduced to the right tools and medication to help him cope with his sickness.
“It was a process, not something that happened over night,” Nicholas said. “Once I was prescribed medication and given tools to deal with anxiety, it started to help.”
It took a few years of hard work, and even with the right recipe, there were times when the medication would simply make Nicholas feel numb.
Nicholas is now working towards a PhD in experimental psychology, conducting research on sleep and memory in conjunction with his schooling.
Although Nicholas is doing much better nowadays than previously, he knows his mental illness is something he will have to continue to manage and cope with.
“It will never go away, but I feel comfortable handling situations when they do arise.”
Compelled by his own experience with the mental health system and more specifically, the stigma he felt preventing him from being open about his illness, Nicholas became an advocate working with Jack.Org in mental health. Part of his goal was to become part of the solution for normalizing mental health conversations.
Another important aspect for Nicholas was advocating for actual policy change as well. “I remember how difficult and frustrating it was to navigate the mental health system.”
Nicholas now believes he could have gotten help years earlier had the system been properly set up to help him, rather than turn him away because he wasn’t sick enough.
These experiences encouraged Nicholas to become involved with Frayme and to use his voice to help ensure that health systems communicate with each other, share knowledge and use models of care designed with youth needs at the centre.
“As a member of Frayme’s Advisory on Youth Matters, I want to see policy change happen. It’s time for a rebuild of the mental health care system. I believe Frayme is the ideal vehicle to drive this policy change into action.”
As a part of the Frayme network, Nicholas has been able to share his voice among other youths, policy makers, academics and service providers at convening meetings. He will also act as a co-researcher in the evaluation of Frayme and has been appointed to a ministerial committee on mental health.
“As youth, we want to feel validated when we reach out for help. Asking for help is a big step for anyone who might be struggling, so when we do reach out we want service providers to genuinely listen and provide help.”
Nicholas thinks that traditional approaches to treating mental illness are no longer working. He also thinks that Frayme can play a role in ushering in a new era for system change.
“I want to encourage service providers to be receptive to changes, improvements and new approaches or treatments. As youth, we are asking for help, and change will not work if nobody is listening.”
For starters, we've grown in one year...
1. Youth Engagement
It's at the centre of everything we do
Frayme convened an active Advisory on Youth Matters (AYM), comprised of 12 members. In September 2017, Frayme and its youth leads hosted a meeting in Dublin, Ireland with 10 international youth involved in integrated youth services (IYS) to understand knowledge needs and models for youth engagement. Guided by AYM, we are striving to walk the talk when it comes to meaningful youth engagement.
2. Family Engagement
Family comes first
Frayme's Family Advisory, which services to guide the Leadership Team, appointed a chair and engaged a group of five members from across Canada. Targeted recruitment is underway to ensure diversity in representation.
Learn more about our Family Advisory lead, Hilary Allen, and what motivated her to help Frayme achieve its mission.
3. Integrated Youth Services
Gotta catch 'em all
Members of Frayme's Leadership Team and other partners collaborated on two published syntheses, which revealed a lack of practical guidance in developing IYS. To address this gap, Frayme is leading a detailed scan of IYS through a three-phased project to compile, analyze, and share practical knowledge related to IYS implementation such as policies, governance, procedures, and evaluation.
4. E-services in IYS
5. Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation
Doing what we do best
In May 2017, Frayme hosted a knowledge-sharing event, involving representatives from various stakeholder groups, to discuss best practices, key issues and opportunities for reform in youth mental health.
Frayme collaborated with Wisdom2Action to develop another knowledge-sharing event focused on youth engagement held in May 2018.
Frayme convened three meetings of the Knowledge Mobilization Committee to provide strategic advice and review and approve project proposals.
Frayme developed an integrated Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation primer to help increase capacity in IYS organizations to adopt and scale up IYS in Canada and abroad.
6. Social Media and Newsletter
Frayme established its monthly newsletter, Frayme of Mind, which keeps our network connected and up-to-date about all things integrated youth mental health.
Frayme also established a Twitter account as a secondary avenue to engage partners and support other organizations working in youth mental health.
7. Website launch
It's our baby and we're proud of it!
Frayme released an updated version of our website in January 2018. Frayme.ca has enabled our partners and stakeholders to have a clear understanding of Frayme’s mission, vision, unique value proposition, and primary audience.
Approximately 60+ organizations are now registered on the website where they have shared their own partner profiles and showcased their related evidence-informed projects and resources, increasing international access to and awareness of knowledge, know-how, activities, and resources.
9. Stakeholder engagement
It takes a village and we know it
Frayme hosted 22 international organizations to engage them in the work of Frayme. Additionally, Frayme joined 60 researchers from around the globe for the inaugural meeting of the International Youth Mental Health Research Network, during which we facilitated a round-table on the implementation of IYS.
Frayme convened two meetings of the Funders Table, another advisory group to the Leadership Team. In response to funders feedback, we created a resource that highlights Frayme projects and opportunities for funder involvement as well as a tailorable sponsorship package.
10. Demonstrated leadership
Who, us? Aww thank you!
Frayme was invited to provide expert input into the following initiatives: the Republic of Ireland's national youth mental health strategy; Australian organizations' knowledge mobilization and implementation efforts on IYS, with the Commissioners of the state of California; the office of the Canadian Minister of Health; as well as the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta.
Mary Anne Levasseur
Building bridges beyond borders
The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) 2018 Leadership Exchange
The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) 2018 Leadership Exchange brought together leaders across member countries to learn, work and reflect together on what needs to be done to get conditions for mental health & social inclusion right for the future.
Frayme held a match alongside Tilia and the Mental Health Foundation focused on facilitating young people's involvement and advocacy in service design, delivery and policy research. Over the course of a few days, youth shared their voices and unique perspectives.