Youth & Young Adults

Parent & Youth in Residence

“We are you, and we care about you. FamilySmart® employs us as young adults who know what it is like to have a mental heath and/or substance use challenge. As young adults, we are invested in helping to make your journey less hard and help others understand our needs as young people, and work together with us.”

FamilySmart® Parents In Residence (PiR) and Youth In Residence (YiR) provide peer support, mentoring, system navigation and access to information, resources, networks and education for:

  • Youth or young adult with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges
  • Families and caregivers parenting children, youth or young adults with mental health and/or substance use challenges
  • Systems and service providers; to assist in building knowledge, skills and capacity in working well together with youth, young adults and families to enhance mental health outcomes.

Youth in Residence have their own lived experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges. Youth often find it empowering to talk with other youth or young adults who understand and can share insight on their journey. Parents and adult caregivers appreciate hearing a young adult perspective on their own experiences.

“The YiR saved my life, as a young person who ‘fell through the cracks.’”

  • Youth in Residence provide peer support to children and youth at Surrey Memorial Hospital Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU).
  •  Provincial Youth in Residence is an integrated member of the PiR/YiR staff team and a  resource to the PiRs and the families they support families in community and onsite.

FamilySmart® Practice Program

FamilySmart® Practice is about enhancing the experience and quality of services, information, and supports for children, youth, young adults and their families through a shared practice we call Together-Centred™. It brings together young people, families and service providers to learn with and from each other and develop intentional personal and professional practice that can enhance child and youth mental health.

If you are a youth or young adult and would like to participate in our FamilySmart® Practice Training or help develop FamilySmart® Practice Tools or be part of influencing practice in systems, connect with us at

Check out our FamilySmart® Practice Tools developed with young people:

View our latest FamilySmart® Practice Tool – Language We Use

FamilySmart® Practice Tools – Language

FamilySmart® Practice Tools – Youth

FamilySmart® Practice Tools – Foster Youth

T2P Brochure 2015 – Your Mental Health And Pregnancy

T2P Ask and Offer – Brochure 2017

Order T2P resources here.

Health Literacy

FamilySmart® believes it matters that health literacy about people, needs to be created with those people. This is our practice in our 2 Health Literacy Programs.

Many young people participate in our May 7 Child & Youth Mental Health Day

Started by our organization in 2007, this day is about creating caring connections between children and youth and those that care about/or care for them. Our campaign is called “I care about you” and it provides health literacy and materials to sites across Canada to raise awareness and literacy about child and youth mental health.

Check out some resources for May 7th developed with young people:

FamilySmart® Unfolding Conversations 2017

Unfolding Conversations 2016

If you, or other young people you know would like to participate by doing something on May 7th, check out our materials here