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Youth Voice

Youth Voice means the empowerment and involvement of young people in all levels of services. For example: as individual consumers of services, as advisors to systems, or as members of a research team. Transitions RRTC has recognized the importance of implementing a PAR (Participatory Action Research)  Framework to support the employment and education efforts of youth and young adults (Y&YA) with serious mental health conditions.

Levels of Meaningful Youth Involvement in Participatory Action Research

Defining Different Levels of youth involvement are necessary when making an effective attempt at Participatory Action Research. The following levels of involvement were created and informed by our young adult PAR staff and National Youth Advisory Board (YAB) members.
 Participatory Action Research Graphic
  • Level 4 (Youth Led) is the highest level of involvement a Y&YA RRTC PAR Staff can have where they are involved from the beginning until the end of the project, taking the lead on research/Knowledge Translation planning, administration, implementation, and completion.*
  • Level 3 (Youth Partnered) is the second highest level of involvement a Y&YA RRTC PAR Staff can have where they are partnered with the project team since the early stages of the project, providing feedback through personal expertise, having equal decision-making power, and being recognized for their skill set.*
  • Level 2 (Youth Involved) is a lower level of involvement in which RRTC PAR Staff, interns, or volunteers who are Y&YA with SMHC take an active role in a project but are not involved much in decision-making processes, providing feedback through personal expertise during certain stages of the projects.

  • Level 1 (Youth Informed) is the lowest level of involvement in RRTC interns or volunteers who are Y&YA with SMHC provide feedback based on their personal expertise and have no decision-making ability, usually recruited from mental health youth advisory groups.

* Education and Training are provided as necessary to ensure full, informed participation. Right now, all RRTC projects are almost equally distributed between these 4 levels.


Related Products and Materials


Voices for Hope

Tip Sheets

Before a Mental Health Crisis Hits: Creating a Family Safety Plan

Young Adults Getting Involved: Participatory Action Research & Transition Age Youth

Presentation Slides

Coming In Loud & Clear: How to Grow Meaningful Youth Involvement
IAYMH Conference in Montreal
October 8-10, 2015

Participatory Action Research: Making it Work for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions
March 24, 2015

Young Adults Making it Happen
December 2012
Gillian Simons, Jennifer Whitney, Amanda Costa, and Tania Duperoy

Participatory Action Research with Young Adults: Experiences and Lessons Learned
June 2011


Nothing About Us Without Us: Growing Meaningful Youth Involvement in Your Organization
October 3, 2016
Tania Duperoy and Amanda Costa

Young People in the Design, Conduct, Interpretation of Research
October 8-10, 2015
IAYMH Conference in Montreal

Young Adult and Youth Involvement in Mental Health Services Research: Making it Real
October 15, 2013


Participatory Action Research: Young Adults Making it Happen

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