Summary Report: Experience and Expertise of People with Lived and Living Experience on the Integration of Mental Health and Substance Use Health Services in Canada
While integrated services for mental health and substance use health have been studied for more than two decades no recent or comprehensive reviews exist — particularly with a peer research methodology — on how the people who use these services experience integration.
To address this need, this study explores
- how people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) define service integration,
- what gaps and demands exist in mental health and/or substance use health services,
- why participants do or do not support further service integration,
- which systemic bottlenecks prevent meaningful integration, and
- what characteristics participants considered important for effective service delivery.
At a time when Canada is establishing its first national standards of care on mental health and substance use health services, this report examines wide-ranging PWLLE experiences to inform its policy and practice recommendations for improving delivery, matching needs to services, and developing systemic incentives.