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November 23, 2018

Message from Dr. Joanna Henderson


Knowledge exchange is important to the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health. By engaging young people, their families and community agencies in our research, we help ensure findings are relevant to those we are trying to help. We’re proud to share the highlights of some of these efforts in this newsletter. 


The McCain Centre is sharing knowledge through youth-developed products, through videos about collaborative projects, through our ongoing Speakers Series and through presentations at international psychiatry conferences. Read on to find out more about some of our exciting projects.

Dr. Joanna Henderson, Director, McCain Centre


YouthCan IMPACT Team Recognized for Engaging Youth


A special patient-oriented research supplement in the Canadian Medical Association Journal recognizes the McCain Centre’s YouthCan IMPACT study for its success in engaging young people to create a model of care that better meets their needs. For more information, view the supplement or listen to the accompanying podcast, which features Dr. Henderson and Youth Engagement Facilitator Jackie Relihan.


Youth Engagement Facilitator Jackie Relihan and Dr. Henderson at the OSSU Supplement Launch


McCain's Youth Voice


By the McCain Centre’s Youth Engagement Initiative team.


The Blunt Truth: A resource on safer cannabis use developed for youth, by youth


The youth version of the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines was developed with the McCain Centre's Youth Engagement Initiative and the National Youth Action Council. This youth education resource provides young people with information on safer ways to use cannabis, with evidence-based recommendations supported by the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM).


The guidelines are youth-friendly; they use fun and understandable language, engaging graphics and they have a compact design. As cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, the youth version of the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines can be another useful tool to start a conversation about cannabis use with young people across Canada. Dr. Henderson also provides guidance for parents looking to speak to their children about cannabis.


Youth Engagement Facilitator Jackie Relihan holds up The Blunt Truth resource.


Adding more colour to CAMH’s child and youth spaces

Smilezone Foundation recently helped CAMH brighten its Child, Youth and Emerging Adult floor with 14 colourful murals designed in collaboration with Smilezone artists and McCain Centre Youth Engagement Facilitators Jackie Relihan and Joshua Miller. The new art can be found in CAMH’s Concurrent Youth In-Patient Program, the Tremco Child Ambulatory Services Centre, the Irma Bryson Unit and in waiting rooms and hallways.

"The space around you really has an impact on how you feel," explains Jackie. "It can already be a challenging or intimidating situation for young people to come and access services. By creating a more inviting, colourful and youth-friendly environment, our goal is to try to help youth feel more comfortable and know this is their space."


Youth Engagement Facilitator Joshua Miller stands in front of one of the new murals.


Knowledge Sharing


Autism in girls and women

Researchers at the McCain Centre – working with CAMH’s Azrieli Centre for Adult Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Mental Health – hope to improve the health care experiences of women and girls with autism by better understanding how they are diagnosed; how ASD affects access to health care; and how they experience both ASD-specific and general health care.

watch the video

A guide to implementing YouthCan IMPACT

The YouthCan IMPACT team has created a resource for community partners looking to implement mental health care hubs in their community. Building Integrated Service Hub Models for Youth Mental Health and Addictions: The YouthCan IMPACT Experience and Guidebook is based on the team’s experience setting up integrated service hubs in Toronto.

Get your copy

McCain takes its message to Prague

Dr. Henderson recently co-presented at the 23rd World Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions in Prague, Czech Republic. Her talk examined “Systems transformation in youth mental health services: Learnings from the implementation experiences of Canada and Australia.”


Dr. Henderson and co-presenters Dr. Debra Rickwood (left) and Dr. Srividya Narayanan Iyer (right) in Prague.


Other International Engagements

Dr. Henderson presented a symposium on youth not engaged in employment, education or training at the 11th International Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health in Boston.

Dr. Henderson was also in Sweden recently, where she participated in a grant review meeting with the Swedish Research Council.


McCain Centre Speaker Series


The McCain Centre shares knowledge through a series of monthly one-hour presentations at CAMH.


Dr. George Julian
October 1, 2018

Investigating the deaths of intellectually disabled people: five years of campaigning for change #JusticeforLB


Dr. Yona Lunsky, Azrieli Centre Director, & Dr. Julian


Dr. Julian's talk, which was part of a joint event with CAMH’s Azrieli Centre, highlighted issues relating to premature mortality of intellectually disabled people in the U.K.


Key Messages of Dr. Julian's Talk

  • It’s important to study causes of death in people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Social media is an important and powerful tool to mobilize families and advocate for change.

Drs. J.D. Haltigan &
Madison Aitken
November 5, 2018

The General Psychopathology Factor: Identification and Significance


Drs. Madison Aitken & J.D. Haltigan


Drs. J.D. Haltigan's and Madison Aitken's talk described recent research in the statistical modeling of mental health symptoms and provided clinicians and practitioners with a basic understanding of the importance of this work for clinical assessment and treatment.


Key Messages of Drs. Haltigan’s and Aitken’s talk

  • All psychiatric symptoms are associated with one another to a given degree.
  • Dimensional representation of psychiatric symptoms and syndromes may better reflect the empirical reality of mental health disorder than classifications.

Project Updates


Longitudinal Youth in Transition Study

The Longitudinal Youth in Transition Study is improving transitions from youth to adult mental health services by creating a better understanding of how young people transition out of mental health services at age 18 — a difficult time in which up to half experience a disruption in their care. “Through this study we aim to understand how youth experience transitions out of child and adolescent mental health services at age 18 and in collaboration with youth, identify opportunities to improve these transitions in care,” says Dr. Kristin Cleverley, Principal Investigator of the study, a Clinician Scientist with the McCain Centre and Professional Practice Office. Approval has been granted to begin recruitment at SickKids, and interviews have started with youth who’ve been in the study for two years. Read about LYITS and other McCain Centre studies here.


Other News & Activities


Research assistant Kirsten Neprily hosts "Research Jeopardy."


Research Blitz

McCain and Cundill Centre research analysts and assistants gathered recently for a Research Blitz, an informal—and fun!—way to learn more about projects across the centres. The blitz featured Research Jeopardy, brief presentations and knowledge sharing to help participants build a sense of community, as well as their own confidence in pitching studies to prospective research participants.


Bolstering an interest in help youth with mental illness

CAMH is helping boost capacity in child psychiatry by exposing medical students to the field through the Dr. Susan Bradley Scholarship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Scholarship. “The goal is to foster interest in child psychiatry by giving students that really hands-on experience early in their education with the hope it will inspire them to pursue a career in child psychiatry,” says Dr. Oshrit Wanono, a staff psychiatrist in CAMH’s Child, Youth and Family Service.

eNewsletter Issue #3 May 2018
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