The success of models of service delivery for early intervention in psychosis and other social and health service developments have inspired recent interest in and attempts at transforming youth mental health services, with the specific objective of improving access and outcomes. I will describe the recent initiation of a large-scale national project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, under the Strategies for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) national initiative. The objective of this project is not to discover new interventions but to put in place a model of delivery of care that incorporates evidence already available, as, for example, in EI services in psychosis.
The service transformation is designed to achieve 5 objectives: early case identification, rapid access, no transition of service based on age (12-25), meaningful stakeholder engagement (youth and family), and connection to appropriate care. Fourteen sites, representing geographic, cultural and ethnic diversity of Canada, are engaged in the project. An evaluation protocol, based around the 5 objectives and constructed in collaboration with youth and family councils, is administered at all sites utilizing multiple sources of data to evaluate the transformation at each site and across the country. I will discuss the processes involved in setting up the project, successes and challenges.
The seminar will be followed by a wine reception.
Dr Ashok Malla is a Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, with an adjunct appointment in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Early Psychosis and Ear Intervention in Youth Mental Health and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from l’Université de Montréal. He has founded two leading Prevention and Early intervention Programs for Psychoses (PEPP) in Montréal and London, Ontario and, more recently the Canadian Consortium of Early Intervention Programs for Psychosis.
He now leads a $25M, national research project on transformation of youth mental health services (ACCESS OPEN MINDS Canada), under the Strategies for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), informed by his previous work in early psychosis. He has led many clinical research projects investigating the neurobiological, psychosocial, and cross-cultural aspects of multidimensional outcomes in early phase of psychotic disorders and early intervention.
He is currently leading two global mental health projects: understanding differences in outcome in first episode psychosis in India and Canada, and application of a low-cost model of mental health service delivery in rural parts of conflict ridden Kashmir, India. He has published well over 320 peer-reviewed articles, held numerous peer-reviewed research grants, supervised many graduate and post-doctoral students, residents and fellows, has been an advisor on program development and research in early intervention in psychotic disorders in several countries and has worked tirelessly as an advocate for high quality care for the seriously mentally ill. He is also an editor of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.