The particular challenges of providing mental health programs which engage youth and offer effective and acceptable services are discussed. The paper identifies and discusses the guiding principles for development of a comprehensive and integrated multiservice centre for the varied needs of youth. The program focuses on problems occurring as part of the normal developmental process as well as on the needs of emotionally disturbed or mentally ill youth. The place of such a program within the context of the community is identified with the responsibility for indirect consultation and effective community liaison being stressed. An established program based on this model is described.