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Engaging Youth in a Mental Health System Improvement Initiative in Ontario: Developing the Be Safe Resource

This paper illustrates the effectiveness of authentic youth engagement and co-creation in a system-level improvement initiative called Be Safe. Be Safe is a mobile app that aims to help young people manage mental health and/or addiction crises and to identify local supports based on their current level of need. The paper highlights how mindyourmind facilitated this youth engagement as well as the youth-adult partnerships to enrich the development of a youth-friendly resource that is clinically sound, relevant to the target population, and informed by the participants’ personal expertise and experience. The paper also broadly describes and emphasizes the importance of meaningfully engaging individuals with lived experience in order to help the system better meet the needs of people affected by poor mental health.