Benefits for youth

Why it matters

Whether it's the service provider improving the way they deliver care, or the young person partnering in the treatment process, youth engagement changes lives. We’ve compiled evidence that shows the benefits of youth engagement specific to child and youth mental health.

 

Youth will benefit from youth engagement because it:

 

  • Increases self-esteem, grows connections, and reduces depressive symptoms—all of which contribute to a decreased risk of suicide 1,2
  • Increases a young person’s ability to cope, life satisfaction, hope and overall wellbeing functioning 2,3,4
  • Reduces substance use and smoking 5,6
  • Helps develop key coping mechanism (e.g., self-regulation, coping) 7
  • Promotes the notion of taking responsibility for one’s own care 8
  • Contributes to factors that help to strengthen youth resiliency 9
  • Promotes personal growth and identity development 10,11,12
  • Increases critical thinking skills 13
  • Improves academic performance and reduces dropout rates14,15,16,17
  • Enhances leadership skills 18
  • Builds positive youth-adult partnerships 19
  • Broadens and strengthens social networks 2,10,20,15
  • Supports mental health awareness and the reduction of stigma 21,22

We asked youth on our training team how youth engagement has affected them. Take a peek at their journey and see the positive impact youth engagement has had on them. 

  • 1. Mahoney et al., 2002
  • 2. a. b. c. Ramey et al., 2010
  • 3. Armstrong & Manion, 2007
  • 4. Bickman et al., 2010
  • 5. Chung & Elias, 1996
  • 6. Youniss et al., 1999
  • 7. Hawke et al., 2005
  • 8. Schauer et al., 2007
  • 9. Oliver et al., 2006
  • 10. a. b. Dworkin et al., 2003
  • 11. Finn & Checkoway, 1998
  • 12. Pancer et al., 2002
  • 13. Zeldin, 2008
  • 14. Catalano et al., 1999
  • 15. a. b. Barber et al., 2001
  • 16. Eccles & Barber, 1999
  • 17. Brennan et al., 2015
  • 18. Gymafi et al., 2007
  • 19. Catalano et al., 1999
  • 20. McGee et al., 2006
  • 21. Romer & Bock, 2008
  • 22. Walker et al., 2009