Youth perspectives on barriers and opportunities for the development of a peer support model to promote mental health and prevent suicide
Libon, J., Alganion, J>, & Hilario, C.
Suicide prevention is a public health priority. The purpose of this study was to elicit and document the perspectives of youth (ages 15–24) on the development of a peer support model for mental health promotion and suicide prevention for youth in small communities in western Canada. A qualitative descriptive approach informed by a socioecological framework was used to conduct the study. Eleven youth participated in a series of three co-design workshops. Data collection was conducted remotely using Zoom. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The following three themes are identified: (a) contextual factors for youth; (b) community spaces and social media; and (c) apps and integrated care. These themes elucidated challenges faced by the youth, strategies for reducing barriers for youth who need support, and opportunities for enhancing youth mental health through responsive community-identified services. Overall, youth were supportive of the potential use of peer support to augment services in their communities.