e-Mental Health for Youth and Young Adults in Alberta

Alberta Health Services

From 2013 to 2019, the rate at which youth and young adults visited the Emergency Dempartment for suicidal behaviour in Alberta rose 25%. This implementation science research project aims to streamline and enhance the quality of care for young people seeking mental health services by piloting an e-mental health digital platform. InnoWell is designed to empower youth to personalize their care and access resources, apps and e-tools that reflect their mental health needs and prioritize care options they wish to address with their clinician. Informed by a decade of Australian research, stakeholder feedback, clinical committee guidance, and the lived experiences of youth and young adults, this project is being implemented in 10 communities across Alberta. As mental health issues continue to rise, it is vital to bring together youth voices, embrace innovative and accessible approaches, and research these processes to work towards a more efficient and integrated mental health system.


Heather Marten
Hello! I'm a recent Patient and Community Engagement Research (PaCER) program grad, with a focus on e-mental health tools and youth engagement with them. I have experience on 3 different health advisory councils across the country and as a patient, I have a passion for mental health and ease of access to treatment.

Julian Quickstand
Julian transitioned to the mental health field two years ago, having formerly worked in Alberta’s oilfield since he was 16. Experiencing his own mental health challenges and navigating the complex system to access resources led him to recognize that he wanted to focus his energy on supporting others and promoting mental wellness Julian understands the frustrations of searching for resources and being met with dead-ends, misdiagnosis, or unsuccessful treatments. Due to this, Julian is very intentional in his work - using his story and experiences to connect with others and improve communication and accessibility in accessing resources. He is part of an Alberta Health Services supported Addictions and Mental Health Youth Advisory Council, where he collaborates with mental health organizations. As a member and volunteer at Imagine Citizen’s network (an organization devoted to enhancing health services for Albertan’s) he is working on creating an online forum for individuals to connect and discuss mental health. He also works as a research assistant at the University of Calgary in an e-mental health project, and on a mental health promotion committee. Julian is studying at York University, pursuing the cognitive neuropsychology stream. Encouraged by his warm reception into this community, JulianJulian is motivated to complete a PhD in clinical psychology in the future.

EmmaLiese Thomsen
EmmaLiese Thomsen is a Youth Advocate currently working with the University of Calgary to implement an e-mental health digital platform, aiming to streamline and enhance the quality of care for young people seeking mental health services in Canada. With the perspective of lived experience, past and present, EmmaLiese is able to provide input and feedback on project decisions to better suit the needs of youth. Her interests include youth advocacy, community, and family!

Gina Dimitropoulos
Dr. Dimitropoulos is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, cross-appointed with the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. She is also a Full Member of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health. She is an award-winning clinician, researcher, and mentor who has dedicated her career to bridging research and practice on youth mental health.

Lily Le
Lily Le (she/her) is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with a PhD in Counselling Psychology who has worked with youth and young adults from a client-centered, anti-oppressive, and feminist lens. In addition to helping clients grow and change at an individual level, Lily is driven to transform mental health care at a systems level. Her passion for research, innovation, and youth engagement has led her to her current position as a Practice Lead for the e-Mental Health for Youth and Young Adults in Alberta Project.

Emilie Bassi
Emilie Bassi (she/her) is the Senior Qualitative Analyst for the e-Mental Health for Youth and Young Adults in Alberta project at the University of Calgary. She holds a Master of Science in Rural Sociology from the University of Alberta. Emilie is passionate about qualitative research methods, making research approachable for youth, and sharing the human story behind research findings.

Leanna Stamp
Leanne Stamp (she/her) is a Practice Lead and Qualitative Research Coordinator for the e-Mental Health (eMH) for Youth and Young Adults in Alberta project. Leanne is passionate about facilitating the connection, trust, and growth required to create new possibilities within the complex world of health and social care. She is fascinated by the potential for digital technologies and data to support the transformation of our health care systems and sees the eMH project as an opportunity to harness the power of relationships united by purpose to innovate and move the dial on youth mental illness and death by suicide. Leanne believes that together we can transform our mental health care system into one that is highly effective and supports young people to achieve their full potential in life, both now and for generations to come.

Key takeaways

  • The Project is an E-mental health platform not meant to replace a clinician, but instead enhance their work

This platform is designed to enhance the effectiveness of mental health care through:

  1. Stepped care approach
  2. Self management
  3. Accessibility

4 things they are focusing on:

  1. Uptake of the platform
  2. Clinical outcomes
  3. Impact on the experiences of those who use it
  4. ER visits for acute crises

Key Learning Objectives (defined by presenters)

  1. Increase knowledge of how an e-Mental Health digital platform may facilitate the integration of youth mental health services
  2. To identify the benefits, opportunities and challenges of implementing an e-Mental Health digital platform in urban and rural communities
  3. To learn about a youth engagement framework for an e-Mental Health digital platform for clinical services

Key Themes

  1. E-mental health
  2. Service provider supports

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