- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
Did you know that it can take more than 10 years for evidence-based knowledge to be translated into best practice? I didn’t, until I had a recent opportunity to attend the SPARK Training Program, developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). Through this opportunity I was able to connect with other participants and experts from across Canada to learn more about Knowledge Translation (KT).
Knowledge translation can be described as “closing the gap between what we know and what we do”. It involves bringing together the people who create knowledge and the people who use knowledge (e.g., researchers, patients, families, peer support workers, mental health and substance professionals, and policy makers) to find new and effective ways to put learning into practice. Fundamentally, in the context of mental health, KT is intended to improve the mental health of all Canadians.
Knowledge translation sounds pretty important doesn’t it, but how do we effectively get started? I often find that there are so many great ideas floating around out there, but wonder why we don’t see timelier implementation or change. Deep down, I am not a patient person, so I like to see ideas come to fruition quickly!
Through my opportunity at the SPARK training, I discovered a tool that I believe will help identify steps to effectively take ideas and turn them into actions that drive change. The Innovation to Implementation (I2I) Guide, developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in partnership with Knowledge Translation experts, is a practical, step-by-step guide for creating an effective knowledge exchange/translation plan. It highlights the importance of using a wide range of perspectives so that knowledge can be jointly identified, created and applied.
The I2I Guide illustrates 7 key stages that can help move an innovation into implementation:
As I work my way through current projects and look towards future ideas, I am going to engage the I2I Guide with the hopes that through this process I can work towards achieving the goal of enhancing the mental health outcomes of children, youth and families across BC. I encourage you to take a look at the guide the next time you identify a need for change or have an idea, but are struggling to put it into action.
 Initiatives: SPARK. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2015, from http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/initiatives-and-projects/knowledge-exchange-centre/spark
 Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) Innovation to Implementation (I2I): a practical guide to knowledge translation in healthcare [Internet] Calgary (AB): MHCC; 2014. [cited 2015 June 16]. Available from: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/system/files/private/document/KEC_Innovation_to_Implementation_Workbook_FinalV2_ENG.pdf.