ALBERTA CHILDREN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
FOUNDATIONAL DISCOVERY PLATFORM
TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED IN 2021
24% HOSPITAL PROGRAMS
HOSPITAL PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Prevention and treatment strategies for many mental health conditions have not advanced in decades. More clinical research will help us deepen our knowledge of these conditions and find better ways to address them, ultimately improving care and outcomes for young people and their families. Together with Alberta Health Services and supporters like Sobeys, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is building a new and innovative Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health that will help to integrate research into community care.
One important initiative that will be housed at the new Centre is Mental Health Research 4 Kids, which will engage patients in the systematic collection of a wide range of data – genetic, medical and behavioural. Gathering this information will provide researchers with a detailed, 360-degree view of each patient in order to optimize their care and help others with similar symptoms. As part of this initiative, over the next five years, the Centre aims to recruit 850 children and adolescents into the Research 4 Kids program – a longitudinal study of anxiety and depression designed to make interventions more effective. More broadly, across all research topics and initiatives we expect to enlist 10,000 participants through the new Centre over the next five years, creating one of the largest and best-characterized pediatric mental health samples in the world: a true ‘living lab.’
In addition to launching Mental Health Research 4 Kids, Alberta Children’s Hospital is also collaborating with SickKids Hospital, and McMaster Children’s Hospital on the I AM SAFE program.
We’ve made progress in a range of areas this year as we move toward the launch of the new Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, expected to open Fall 2022.
Website: We have developed and launched a website to promote the research program, recruit participants and share findings. With the support of the Calgary Mental Health Literacy team, we are also developing online videos to highlight the importance of child/adolescent mental health research, demystify the research process and let potential participants know what to expect if they choose to participate in research.
Measurement-based care: A newly formed subcommittee now meets monthly to discuss what measurement-based care will look like in the Centre. Measurement tools have been selected for the various services that will be offered at the Centre; the measurement program will be ready to launch when the Centre opens its doors.
Youth and family research partnerships: We have created a second subcommittee and developed a strategy to support diverse youth and family engagement and consultation for various aspects of the research program and associated projects. This subcommittee includes an Indigenous scholar who is working to support the development of Indigenous research partnerships and engagement.
Research registry: We have established a research registry that has recently been approved to start enrolling across Calgary Child and Adolescent Addiction and Mental Health Psychiatry Program (CAAMHPP) clinics in advance of the Centre opening.