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eNewsletter Issue #3 May 2018

Message from Dr. Kristin Cleverley

Collaborating with the Youth Engagement Facilitators at the McCain Centre has been one of my most important learnings as a clinician-scientist. As members of my research team, these facilitators have significantly improved the applicability and quality of my research by challenging assumptions and suggesting thoughtful and timely revisions to ensure the youth voice is represented.

We are fortunate to have an active and dedicated team of youth involved in our research. You can read more about their involvement in this issue. Also, read about how the YouthCan IMPACT research study is expanding, and how Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, an exciting provincial initiative, is informed in part by this McCain Centre research.

Dr. Kristin Cleverley, Senior Scientist, McCain Centre

Ontario youth to get care through community hubs

Dr. Joanna Henderson with the Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Emma McCann, Youth Engagement Facilitator

Up to 12,000 young people across the province each year will have access to mental health care through six community hubs, thanks to a new initiative led by Dr. Joanna Henderson, Director of the McCain Centre.

Announced by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services on May 3, Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) will provide young people ages 12 to 25 with one-stop access to mental health assessments, treatment for addictions and substance use, therapy and counselling, peer and family support and referrals to psychiatrists, as well as education, employment and housing services.

“Through these one-stop hubs, youth will be able to access the kinds of services they want, when they need them, because young people will have played a role in creating them,” says Dr. Henderson, YWHO Executive Director.

Read more about the hubs, which in part build on the work of the McCain Centre’s work in YouthCan IMPACT, by visiting here.

McCain's Youth Voice

This section is written by the McCain Centre’s Youth Engagement Initiative team.

Youth Engagement Initiative: Giving youth a voice

Based in the McCain Centre, four Youth Engagement Facilitators are helping inform CAMH research, ensuring projects and findings are more accessible to young people, presenting findings at international conferences and so much more – all in the name of advocating for the youth voice to be represented within projects that directly affect them.


“I think there’s a lot of power in this work,” says 21-year-old Emma McCann, a Youth Engagement Facilitator since 2016. “There’s a general shift in mental health to recognize that youth – and patients in general – have expertise that should be valued.”

Read more about Youth Engagement Facilitators here.

Dr. Kristin Cleverley, Jessica Rong, Jackie Relihan, and Dr. Joanna Henderson present a symposium in Florida

Teaching the world how to engage youth

Youth Engagement Facilitators are helping spread the word about the importance of engaging youth in research—and the benefits that can result. Facilitators Jessica Rong and Jackie Relihan recently presented a symposium alongside Drs. Kristin Cleverley and Joanna Henderson at the 31st Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health in Tampa, Fla. Their presentations examined the Facilitators’ roles in informing a National Delphi Study, YouthCan IMPACT, and a scoping review exploring “youth friendliness” in mental illness and addiction services. Attendees left with a better understanding of methods to use when engaging youth as expert consultants and co-designers, as well as the positive impact youth can have on project design and implementation. The presenters walked away with a nice tan and a cool opportunity to present at such a highly regarded conference!

Project Updates


YouthCan IMPACT continues to grow, with 81 young people randomized to receive mental health care in community-based clinics or hospital-based outpatient mental health care as usual.

Led by Drs. Joanna Henderson and Peter Szatmari, this is the first randomized, controlled trial of such an integrated service hub model anywhere in the world. CAMH was the first of five hospital sites to begin recruitment in YouthCan IMPACT; Sunnybrook started its recruitment last year, SickKids in March, and Michael Garron Hospital and North York General Hospital are expected to launch soon.

“Created with youth, YouthCan IMPACT is offering young people innovative services that are easily accessible and rigorously evaluated,” says Dr. Henderson, Director of the McCain Centre.

“One of the values YouthCan IMPACT has is bringing different perspectives, backgrounds and knowledge into the project,” says Jackie Relihan, a Youth Engagement Facilitator with YouthCan IMPACT. “Youth with lived experience can help inform the project as they know what can work for them.”

For more information, visit

Knowledge Sharing

Dr. Joanna Henderson (left) introduces Julie Bull, PhD Candidate (right)

McCain Centre Speaker Series
The McCain Centre is sharing knowledge through a series of monthly one-hour presentations at CAMH. Topics have included complexities and considerations in research involving Indigenous youth (Julie Bull
PhD Candidate); matching assessment and treatment for children with disruptive behaviour (Dr. Brendan Andrade); and evidence-based learnings about young people who refused to go to school (Dr. Yin Fong). One-page summaries that include the key messages of each talk will be posted on our website soon – stay tuned.

Dr. Brendan Andrade

Dr. Yin Fong

Thanks for reading!