Find a centre near you... FIND HELP

D4-1: A Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Learning Health System

YWHO is an integrated care model designed to address service gapsin the youth mental health and  substance use system in Ontario. YWHO local Hub Networks deliver services for mental health, substance use, primary health care, and other health and social services using an Integrated Youth Services (IYS) model for youth in Ontario aged 12 to 25. This model allows YWHO to provide rapid, low-barrier access to services that are high-quality, co-developed with youth, and tailored to meet their needs. There are currently 22 local YWHO Hub Networks in 30 communities across Ontario.  This presentation will share the model’s development, core values and components, and how it is building a network of learning health systems across the province.


Dr. Deb Chiodo is the Director of Data Management and Evaluation for YWHO where she works collaboratively with communities and service providers across sectors to lead the evaluation of YWHO initiatives and the development of data systems that support the transformation of Ontario’s mental health and addictions systems. Dr. Chiodo’s research interests have focused on the implementation and scale-up of complex designs in youth mental health and health promotion. Dr. Chiodo is also an Assistant Professor at Western University in the Faculty of Education and Counseling Psychology Department.



D4-2: Integrating a Full Spectrum of Services Through a Whole Community Approach

Working through the lens of a whole community approach, involving youth as leaders and families, our community adopted the Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario model which allowed our collective services to integrate a full spectrum of service for the youth and families in our community. By partnering with over 40 service providers in a holistic approach we have been able to offer wellness in our community from an intervention and prevention lens through to complex care and crisis services.

This partnership has allowed us to address traditional gaps that exist due to lack of primary care, challenges with shared health records and the challenges for youth/families finding the right service from mild to severe. Our fulsome services also include a medical component in which a nurse practitioner, who works with Child and Adolescent psychiatrist to help to support youth. This presentation will walk through the steps to a achieving a successful whole community approach, this, lessons learned and recommendations for other who wish to follow this path.


Matteo Swartzentruber. Since 2021, Matteo Swartzentruber has led the systems development for The Grove YWHO – Wellington Guelph hub, creating a system of one hub with seven doors to service both the rural and urban populations of the region. Working with Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, Matteo has created a one stop shop for youth wellness in the region, collaborating with youth, families, key stakeholders, and multiple service agencies.

Prior to joining the Grove, Matteo has worked the last 8 years with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington in a variety of clinical roles and programs. Matteo holds a B.A from the University of Guelph, a B.S.W from the University of Waterloo and an M.S.W from the University of Windsor. Matteo has spent the last 15 years working in the field of mental health and substance use and has a strong passion for working with transitional aged youth and their families.

Krista Sibbilin, Working in collaboration with the community, Krista has worked to build a Youth Wellness Ontario site in Wellington Guelph. Bringing her over 22 years of experience with the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, Krista has developed strong collaborative community partnerships and co-facilitates the Growing Great Generations Committee in Guelph Wellington. She believes in collaboration and partnership to best meet the needs of those in need of support, our work with children, youth and families is not siloed work. Krista holds a BASc Honours Degree from the University of Guelph and Master of Social Work from Wilfred Laurier University. She has worked in all areas of children and youth mental health and developmental services.  Krista is passionate about working with children, youth and families, and supporting their mental health well-being.



D4-3: Belong and Connect: Reimagining Equitable Mental Health Care

At the Haliburton County Youth Wellness Hub we have co-created a model with youth, families, multiple service providers and the broader community to offer mental health services that are based on a universal, open, and safe door to access resources. Together, we have co-designed and delivered services that are proving to reach the diverse community of young people we serve with the goal of improving their mental health and strengthen their protective factors. This model prioritizes the values and preferences of the different stakeholders, as well as their relations with the natural environment, and is guided by equity and anti-oppressive practices.

The impact that this approach is having on the mental health and wellbeing of youth needs to be captured, however traditional measuring and evaluation tools are not ready for the complexities of the experiences of the community. For this reason, we have partnered with a group of scientists to co-design an impact framework and outcomes with the youth, staff, families, service providers, and more community members. In this workshop we will take you in a journey of co-creation to find what matters to us and the secret sauce to improving mental health, using research methods, engagement strategies, and arts-based tools.


Marg Cox is Executive Director of the Haliburton County Youth Wellness Hub and Point in Time, Centre for Children, Youth and Parents. She has a passion for Collective Impact, youth, family, and community engagement, service integration and anti-oppression, anti-racism and collaboration. Marg has participated and championed many change processes in order to address both determinants of health and improve service, through increased access and service integration and utilizes a “whatever it takes” approach.

Skip to content