The Challenge

We had conducted an in-depth research and educational strategy project for Compass Mental Health, a new division within the BC Provincial Health Authority aimed at supporting all levels of clinician and non-clinician staff supporting child and youth mental health in different capacities.

One thing was clear.

The clinicians did not want ‘more modules’ in an LMS format. At the same time they were asking for more information and training.

Compass exists as a core team of specialists able to give direct phone support to clinicians needing more specialist help in specific mental health issues they themselves need to support. Various initiatives came out of the strategy aimed at helping the capacity of the team. One request by Compass was for us to create a series of ‘toolkits’: informational packages on specific mental health issues that practitioners could be referred to provide further Compass team in conjunction with the direct support.

The Solution

We worked with the team to explore format and content approaches. After some prototyping in different formats we suggested using Articulate Rise. Rise is normally thought of as being courseware. We were conscious of the discrepancy between the ask for training but not in a course format. We saw Rise as spanning that discrepancy, using the format to produce attractive and consistent little ‘field guides’ that can be linked to or embedded in multiple places and that are instantly and beautifully responsive on any device without requiring the multiple breakpoint designs that webpages need. Our approach was to create each one in a ‘magazine’ style, carefully choosing banner and decorative images to complement the textual and video based info contained within. We even added little diagnostic quizzes to help practitioners check their grasp of key points, though we were slightly hesitant to do this and curious if this would push the boundary of the ‘no modules’ ask. But then magazines have quizzes too, not just LMSs.


However our prototype testing showed we had got the balance right. Since launch the initial batch of toolkits have been accessed thousands of times and received very positive reviews from clinicians. More are currently in the works!

Check one out here: Compass Toolkit: Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders