CIHR Catalyst Grant – Healthy Youth – Registration
Academic Unit: inquire with unit
Memorial Deadline: RIS Review not required for registration
External Deadline: Thursday 12th, October 2023
In 2016, the Government of Canada demonstrated its commitment to strengthening the participation and engagement of youth in society, by creating a Youth Secretariat and initiating broad engagement to better understand the experiences and perspectives of youth with diverse identities, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, and economic and language profiles in Canada. This resulted in the development of Canada’s Youth Policy, which emphasizes that providing youth with appropriate support to achieve their full potential will benefit all Canadians, and identifies six priority areas: Leadership and Impact; Health and Wellness; Innovation, Skills and Learning; Employment; Truth and Reconciliation; and Environment and Climate Action. Following the creation of the Youth Policy, the Government of Canada committed to publishing a “State of Youth Report” written for youth, with youth, by youth every four years to ensure that the voices, desires, and expectations of young people with diverse identities, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, and economic and language profiles in Canada continue to be heard, recognized, and reflected in an authentic way in decision making.
The need to prioritize youth research in Canada is clearly outlined in “Worlds Apart: Canadian Summary of UNICEF Report Card 16” and UNICEF Report Card 17, “The Future is Now: The environment and children’s well-being in Canada”. Report Card 16 measured the health and well-being of children and youth (under 18) in 38 wealthy countries and showed that although Canada ranks among the countries with the best economic, environmental and social conditions for growing up, it nonetheless has some of the poorest health and well-being outcomes for children and youth, ranking 31 out of 38 for mental health and happiness, and 30 out of 38 for physical health and survival. Report Card 17 measured the impacts of environmental damage on the well-being of children and youth under age 18 in the world’s richest countries. Despite Canada’s natural and economic wealth, Canada ranked 28 out of 39 countries on children’s environmental conditions and well-being. Both Report Cards point out that health and well-being are not evenly distributed among children and youth in Canada, with a greater risk of illness falling on those most marginalized by income, race, and disability. The rate of suicide as a marker of mental health, for example, is 30 times higher among Inuit, First Nations, and gender-diverse young people. Traffic injury and death are higher among children in neighbourhoods composed mostly of low-income, immigrant, and racialized populations.
The findings from Report Card 16 along with the impacts of the pandemic and associated restrictions sparked a national conversation that convened youth, parents, service providers, youth-serving agencies, policymakers, community organizations, cross-sector experts, and researchers, and led to the development of Inspiring Healthy Futures: A Vision for Canada’s Children, Youth and Families (IHF). The IHF vision and priorities emphasize the need to focus on multi-dimensional solutions that put children, youth, and families from diverse backgrounds at the centre to measurably improve their health and well-being. IHDCYH’s strategic plan (2022-2026), with a core focus area of Empowered Youth, also centres youth health, voices, and experiences, and embeds reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion across all activities.
In response to the commitment in Canada’s Youth Policy, and the clear messages in Inspiring Healthy Futures, the Healthy Youth Initiative will generate key evidence and findings to promote the health and well-being of youth, supporting them to achieve their full potential.
This catalyst grant funding opportunity is part of the Healthy Youth Initiative led by the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH). It aims to help identify and develop emerging research foci relevant to at least one of the six priority areas of Canada’s Youth Policy, foster networking and collaboration, and build capacity for youth engagement in health research.
See ResearchNet for more information.