Development of an online tool for best practices for supporting youth as they manage their depression

Nearly 8% of Canadian adolescents will have major depressive disorders at some point in their lives. Timely treatment is crucial, but young people are finding it hard to access effective mental health care in Ontario. Many young people come knocking on the door of their primary care providers—who may not feel equipped to manage mental health concerns. This results in referrals to (and long wait times for) specialized physicians like paediatricians or psychiatrists. There’s an opportunity to build capacity for primary care providers 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.

Presenters and slide deck

Dr. Stephanie Ameis, Associate Director, Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression, CAMH

Dr. Ameis is the Associate Director of the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression and a Clinician-Scientist within the Brain Health Imaging Centre, the 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, University of Toronto and SickKids. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Renira Narrandes

Renira is the Knowledge Translation Specialist for two research centres at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH): the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression and the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health. Before graduating with her Master of Public Health in 2015, she explored fields of journalism (M.A., 2008) and occupational therapy (M.Sc., 2011). Renira loves telling stories. In her spare time, she runs storytelling workshops to help patients and health care providers learn from each other; she has worked with think tanks, hospitals, research groups, and pharmaceutical companies.

Zara Ahmad

Zara is a first-year medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. She earned her Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a neuroscience major, computer science minor, and psychology minor. She graduated with the W.B. Dunphy’s medal, which is presented at each convocation to a graduand who has been most successful in combining good academic achievement with a sustained commitment to volunteer service in the wider community. Zara has been involved in many research projects, in sociology, psychology, epidemiology, psychiatry, and has authored publications. She is a dedicated mental health advocate and youth leader who is always happy to mentor others.


Key Learnings

  • The Cundill Centre co-created online educational tools for the treatment of youth depression
  • The Centre has started a youth engagement initiative which helps to facilitate connections between youth with living experience, clinicians, researchers, decision makers at CAMH and the community.

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