Request for Proposals: e-services within Integrated Youth Service Models


Adolescence and young adulthood is a vulnerable time for the development of mental health disorders. Compared with other age groups, Canadian youth report the highest rates of mood disorders (8.2%) and substance use disorders (11.9%) (Pearson, Janz, & Ali, 2012) and suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people (Bennett et al., 2015). Ten years from now, mental illness is projected to be one of the five most common causes of morbidity, mortality and disability among Canadian youth (Manion, 2010). In addition, researchers have identified that less than one third of youth access the mental health services they need (Merikangas et al., 2011).

According to the 2014 General Social Survey, almost 99% of young Canadians access the internet and 91% use the internet on a daily basis (Statistics Canada, 2016). Furthermore, Steeves (2014) identified that for Canadian children and youth, grades four to 11, socializing online was among the most popular activities and that by grade ten, 94% of youth had Facebook accounts. Furthermore, the Internet has been identified as a significant resource for health promotion, particularly for stigmatized health issues such as mental health (Berger et al., 2005; Naylor et al., 2009). Despite this, researchers have also begun to demonstrate that screen time (Babic et al., 2017) and the online environment (Levenson Shensa, Sidani, Colditz, & Primack, 2016; Primack et al., 2017; yi Lin et al., 2016) may also pose a significant threat to the well-being of youth and young adults. These findings underscore the significant potential of the online environment for influencing the health and wellness of young people and highlight the need for more targeted health promotion efforts within this medium.

E-mental health services have been defined as “...mental health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies.” (Christensen, Griffiths, & Evans, 2002). These include a range of technologies, including tele-health, internet-based interventions, serious games, mobile interventions and emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence (Hollis et al., 2017; Lal & Adair, 2014; Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014). Several benefits that have been associated with e-health services include enhanced accessibility, reduced costs, increased potential to standardize or personalize and enhanced opportunity for client engagement (Lal & Adair, 2014).

Frayme is a global network that facilitates collaboration between people from diverse disciplines, backgrounds and experiences to ensure that young people everywhere benefit from the latest knowledge in youth mental health and substance use. Frayme’s strategy involves the facilitation of local action, national collaboration, and international knowledge mobilization and the implementation of integrated youth services (IYS) and youth‐friendly technology within care. Integrated youth services take a collaborative approach to the provision of multiple services with the objective of providing a more comprehensive response to client needs (Settipani, in press) and many of the models utilize technology in order to enhance accessibility.

Project Scope

In line with its main goals and its national and global mandate, Frayme is seeking to support a project focused on examining the role of technology within integrated youth services. Areas of focus must include an examination of the following questions:

  • How have e-services been applied within existing IYS models? Have they been shown to be effective?

  • What is the role of technology in IYS?

Secondary research questions can include:

  • What factors should inform the inclusion of e-services within IYS?

  • What are the best practices for incorporating e-services within IYS models?

  • How do you apply youth engagement and family engagement within the development of e-services?

  • What policies are necessary to support use of technology within IYS?

  • Where is the field of e-services going in the future and how can emerging technologies be incorporated into IYS in an evidence-informed manner?How are e-services delivered as part of IYS in low- and middle-income countries?

  • Are there specific ethical issues to be considered when implementing e-services as part of IYS?


Preliminary List of Central Concepts and Principles

The contractor will be expected to describe central concepts and principles in the mental health and substance use/addiction sectors including, the role of E-services in:

  • IYS
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Prevention and promotion
  • Substance use and addiction


Preliminary List of Key Considerations and Dimensions of the Issues

The contractor will be expected to address key considerations and dimensions of the issues of E-services within the mental health and substance use/addiction systems, including but not limited to:

  • Dimensions across populations and intersectionalities

    • Life stage

      -Emerging adults
    • Populations

      -Immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural, and racialized
      -First Nations
      -Gender differences
      -Uniquely marginalized: incarcerated, homeless, survival sex-workers, etc.
  • Prevention and intervention

    • Prevention, promotion of mental wellness, and early intervention

    • Current treatment and after care approaches

    • Social determinants of health

    • Service systems challenges

      -Integration, collaborative care
      -Unique/uneven funding structures between systems
      -Ongoing unresolved issues and challenges
      -Criminal justice system
  • PWLE and caregiving

    -Stigma and discrimination
    -Peer organizations


  1. Proposed scope for the project (due no later than May 31, 2018)

  2. Outputs:

    -Knowledge synthesis
    -Recommendations to mobilize this knowledge and thereby  reduce the knowledge to practice gap in youth services
    - Recommendations on an evaluation framework for the mobilization of this knowledge
  3. Outcomes

Proposals and Budget

Proposals, to be developed using the Project Proposal template, to complete the deliverables will be accepted until May 31, 2018 and should include the following:


  1. A statement of how the project will be undertaken (no more than 5 pages);
  2. A list of names, CVs, and roles of project team member(s);
  3. A proposed timeline for deliverables;
  4. A detailed budget and cost proposal.

The budget shall not exceed $25,000 (including GST, PST, and HST, where applicable). The contract will be issued by Frayme.


Evaluation Criteria Refer to Project Proposal Review Template.

  1. Strong academic background in mental health and substance use.
  2. Demonstrated history of developing and implementing e-services within youth-focused services.
  3. Adequate human resource capacity to meet identified timelines.
  4. Ability to complete the project within the available budget.
  5. Demonstrated expertise related with the evaluation of knowledge mobilization efforts.


Please send proposals to Paula Robeson:


Babic, M. J., Smith, J. J., Morgan, P. J., Eather, N., Plotnikoff, R. C., & Lubans, D. R. (2017). Longitudinal associations between changes in screen-time and mental health outcomes in adolescents. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 12, 124-131.

Bennett, K., Rhodes, A. E., Duda, S., Cheung, A. H., Manassis, K., Links, P., ... & Bridge, J. A. (2015). A youth suicide prevention plan for Canada: a systematic review of reviews. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(6), 245-257.

Berger, M.,Wagner, T. H., & Baker, L. C.. 2005. Internet use and stigmatized illness. Social Science and Medicine 61 (8), 1821–27.

Clarke, A. M., Kuosmanen, T., & Barry, M. M. (2015). A systematic review of online youth mental health promotion and prevention interventions. Journal of Youth And Adolescence, 44(1), 90-113.

Cross, S. P., Hermens, D. F., Scott, E. M., Ottavio, A., McGorry, P. D., & Hickie, I. B. (2014). A clinical staging model for early intervention youth mental health services. Psychiatric Services, 65(7), 939-943.

Hollis, C., Falconer, C. J., Martin, J. L., Whittington, C., Stockton, S., Glazebrook, C., & Davies, E. B. (2017). Annual Research Review: Digital health interventions for children and young people with mental health problems–a systematic and meta‐review. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(4), 474-503.

Iorfino, F., Davenport, T. A., Ospina-Pinillos, L., Hermens, D. F., Cross, S., Burns, J., & Hickie, I. B. (2017). Using new and emerging technologies to identify and respond to suicidality among help-seeking young people: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(7), 1-14.

Lal, S., & Adair, C. E. (2014). E-mental health: a rapid review of the literature. Psychiatric Services, 65(1), 24-32.

Levenson, J. C., Shensa, A., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., & Primack, B. A. (2016). The association between social media use and sleep disturbance among young adults. Preventive medicine, 85, 36-41.

Manion, I. G. (2010). Provoking evolution in child and youth mental health in Canada. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 51(1), 50.

Mental Health Commission of Canada (2014). E-Mental Health in Canada: Transforming the Mental Health System Using Technology, A Briefing Document. Ottawa, ON: Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Merikangas, K. R., He, J. P., Burstein, M., Swendsen, J., Avenevoli, S., Case, B., ... & Olfson, M. (2011). Service utilization for lifetime mental disorders in US adolescents: results of the National Comorbidity Survey–Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(1), 32-45.

Naylor, P. B., Cowie, H. A., Walters, S. J., Talamelli, L. & Dawkins, J. (2009). Impact of a mental health teaching programme on adolescents. British Journal of Psychiatry 194(4), 365–70.

Offord, D. R., Boyle, M. H., Fleming, J. E., Blum, H. M. & Grant, N. I. (1989). Ontario Child Health Study. Summary of selected results. Canadian  Journal of Psychiatry. 34, 483–91.

Pearson, C., Janz, T. and Ali, J.  (2013). Mental and substance use disorders in Canada: Health at a Glance. September. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-624-X. Retrieved on February 5, 2018 from

Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Sidani, J. E., Whaite, E. O., yi Lin, L., Rosen, D., ... & Miller, E. (2017). Social media use and perceived social isolation among young adults in the US. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Settipani C, Cleverley K, Hawke LD, Chaim, G., Rice, M., Cheung A, Szatmari P, Henderson J. Key components and characteristics of integrated care hubs for youth mental health and addiction: A scoping review, submitted manuscript.

Waddell, C. & Sheppard, C. (2002). Prevalence of mental disorders in children and youth: A research update prepared for the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development. Vancouver, BC: The University of British Columbia.

Yi Lin, L., Sidani, J. E., Shensa, A., Radovic, A., Miller, E., Colditz, J. B., Hoffman, B. L., ... & Primack, B. A. (2016). Association between social media use and depression among US young adults. Depression and Anxiety, 33(4), 323-331.

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