Repository logo

Beyond deficits: shifting perspectives in child and youth mental health

Faculty Advisor




life experiences, mental health, narratives, childhood adversity, learning

Abstract (summary)

The social significance of the dominant narrative in mental health is one of particular concern to the author and one that has emerged during the course of this narrative inquiry. This chapter shares personal stories of the author's experiences as a nurse and researcher working within the realm of child and youth mental health and provide an intimate look at the life of one young woman whom she met at CAY. The young woman had a tremendous impact on the author's understanding of mental health, of developing personal strength, and of overcoming adversity; her life story is a guide and inspiration for other youth who have shared a similar narrative, as well as those touched by mental health. The narrative approach places personal experience as the focal point to facilitate understanding, insight, and change; it allows individual voices to be heard and places value on all that is shared. Thus, this chapter provides the reader with an understanding of child and youth mental health through a narrative inquiry lens and encourages alternative ways of learning and knowing. To provide care and support for youth they need to be viewed in a different light, focusing on their strengths and potentials and as always becoming.

Publication Information

Jackson, M.K. (2019). Beyond Deficits: Shifting perspectives in child and youth mental health. In M. Diaz & B. Shepard (Eds.), Narrative Perspectives in Childhood and Adolescence. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.


Item Type

Book Chapter



All Rights Reserved