Live demonstration of an interactive online tool to help front-line clinicians understand best practices, including measurement-based care, to support youth as they manage their depression

Cundill Centre

Nearly 8% of Canadian adolescents will have a major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Timely treatment is crucial, but young people find it hard to access effective mental health care in Ontario. Many young people come knocking on the door of their primary care providers or community mental health clinicians– who may not feel equipped to effectively manage mental health concerns. This results in referrals to (and long wait times for) specialized physicians like pediatricians or psychiatrists. There’s an opportunity to build capacity for frn line clinicians to manage youth with depression using the best, evidence-based practices for assessing and treating the disorder. We built an online tool to do just that, and we worked with youth to ensure components, like our assessment simulation video, are youth-friendly.


Renira Narrandes
Renira Narrandes is a Knowledge Translation Specialist at the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Her role is to find ways to help shorten the time it takes for research to have an impact on clinical practice. This involves developing tools and working with the people who will use them, including service providers, young people, and family members. To learn more, watch Renira's video: What is knowledge translation? Spoken word poem. Renira holds a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion) from the University of Toronto (2015), as well as a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (2011) and a Master of Arts & Journalism (2008) from the University of Western Ontario. 

Stephanie Ameis
Dr. Stephanie Ameis is the Associate Director of the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression and a Clinician Scientist in the Brain Health Imaging Centre, The Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health and the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH. She collaborates closely with the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention, the Kimel Family Translational Imaging-Genetics Laboratory and the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at CAMH. Dr. Ameis is a child and youth psychiatrist at CAMH and is appointed to the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative at CAMH, the University of Toronto and SickKids. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Peter Szatmari
Dr. Peter Szatmari is Director of the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Szatmari’s investigative interests fall broadly into areas of psychiatric and genetic epidemiology, specifically: 1) longitudinal studies of children with autism spectrum disorders and the factors associated with good outcome; and 2) the genetic etiology of autism including studying families with rare copy number variants and studies of infant siblings. Another area of interest is the developmental course of child and adolescent psychopathology including depression, eating disorders, oppositional behaviours and anxiety disorders, with a particular area of concern being measurement issues and sampling by family unit rather than by individuals.

Key takeaways

  • The Cundill Centre Online Tool for the Treatment of Youth Depression is an online tool that provides treatment recommendations and recommended care pathways to clinicians providing mental health services to youth
  • The tool includes assessment scales, recommendations for the clinician to refer to more specialized services, lifestyle advice, psychosocial strategies, and resources handy for the clinician and the patient
  • Feedback is being actively collected for quality improvement for the next iteration of the platform 

Key Learning Objectives (defined by presenters)

  1. Participants will be convinced that we can improve mental health care for young people by using evidence-based practices, employing measurement-based care, and working with primary care providers
  2. Participants will understand how to use the Cundill Centre Online Tool for the Treatment of Youth Depression
  3. Participants will go on to use the online tool in practice and/or will share it with others

Key Themes

  1. Youth engagement

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