Sub-Focus Areas
Mental Health

Nearly eight per cent of Canadian youth will have major depressive disorder. Depression can lead to suicide, the second leading cause of death in Canadian adolescents. Having depression between the ages of 14 and 16 has also been found to predict anxiety, nicotine dependence, alcohol use disorder, suicide attempt, leaving secondary school before graduation, unemployment, and early parenthood. Despite this, many mental health services do not offer treatments based on the best evidence. The CARIBOU – Care for Adolescents who Receive Information ‘Bout Outcomes – Pathway at CAMH is filling this gap by creating an evidence-based, youth co-developed integrated care pathway for depression in youth. 

  • The CARIBOU Pathway is an integrated care pathway for adolescents with depression based on the National Institute of Healthcare Excellence (NICE) clinical practice guidelines. A systematic review and quality appraisal conducted at the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression found the NICE guidelines were of the highest quality.
  • The CARIBOU Pathway was developed collaboratively with youth and care providers and uses a measurement-based care framework.
  • The core components of the CARIBOU pathway are assessment, psychoeducation for youth and their caregivers, psychotherapy options (CBT or Brief Psychosocial Intervention), caregiver support, medication options, team reviews, and pathway completion.

A randomized controlled trial is currently taking place in six community mental health agencies across Ontario. This trial will compare the CARIBOU pathway with treatment as usual, while examining important implementation outcomes. 

The Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression and CAMH Education is gradually rolling out courses on the CARIBOU Pathway, starting with the CARIBOU CBT Clinician Training. The CARIBOU CBT Clinician Training prepares mental health and allied service professionals to facilitate the CARIBOU CBT program individually or in groups with youth who are experiencing depression. Learn more information and register at

Through the CARIBOU Pathway and its components, it’s hoped young people with depression will receive the care they need to recover from depression.


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