This year two applicants tied for highest rating. Recognizing the excellence of both, the review committee decided to split the available funds to award each project.
The “CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program Study and Toolkit: Building Success in Housing First Treatment” team and the “Engaging youth with mental health and/or addiction concerns in health care navigation and research” by the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre team has been awarded the highly-coveted Paula Goering Collaborative Research and Knowledge Translation Award!
The awards committee was particularly impressed with how the Housing First project’s diverse advisory board shaped all phases from research question to end. For the navigation project, the awards committee was impressed with the engagement of youth across different roles/levels of project; the opportunities created for youth to learn facilitation skills; commitment to share power across the team; and potential for scaling to other pressing health issues.
The bi-annual Paula Goering award is sponsored by University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, and CAMH’s Provincial Systems Support Program.
We thank all the applicants for their submissions and encourage further applications for the 2024 round.
We will hold a virtual event in the next few months to celebrate the winning teams as well as Dr. Goering’s vital contributions to making integrated knowledge exchange an important component of research.
Please stay tuned for the details!
About the CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program Study and Toolkit: Building Success in Housing First Treatment
This project is led by Dr. Maryann Roebuck, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services & School of Psychology, University of Ottawa; Lisa Medd, Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA Ottawa); Dr. Tim Aubry, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa; Dr. John Sylvestre, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa; Leif Harris, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University; Ayda Agha, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa; Stephanie Manoni-Millar, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa.
Project abstract: CMHA Ottawa owns 40 condominium units in regular buildings scattered across Ottawa, Ontario, to rent to their clients with severe mental illness who are homeless or vulnerably housed. The condo program is a Housing First approach, which researchers have shown is effective at housing people who are homeless and supporting them to stay housed. CMHA Ottawa partnered with researchers at the University of Ottawa to conduct a study of this program and to develop a toolkit to show other programs how they too could implement a condo program. The study findings showed that condo tenants have stable housing, improved mental and physical health, decreased substance use, and feel they are part of the communities where they live.
Learn more about the CMHA Ottawa Condominium Program Study and Toolkit.
About the Engaging youth with mental health and/or addiction concerns in health care navigation and research project
This project is led by Roula Markoulakis, Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook; Dr. Anthony Levitt Medical Director, Family Navigation Project Chief, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Doris Jayson Family Advisory Council member, Family Navigation Project; Elyse Grieco Family Navigator, Family Navigation Project; Thalia Phi Youth Advisory Council member, Family Navigation Project Former Youth Engagement Partner, Family Navigation Project; Sugy Kodeeswaran, Principal Knowledge User.
Project abstract: Mental health and/or addictions (MHA) concerns impact nearly 1.2 million Canadian youth. However, fewer than 20% of these young people receive adequate MHA treatment. Youth may hesitate to engage, or disengage from MHA care due to negative care experiences or mistrust of the MHA system. Mental health navigation offers a unique opportunity to engage more young people in MHA care, yet youth engagement in MHA navigation settings is not well-understood.
This was a qualitative Community-Based Participatory Research study. The Family Navigation Project partnered with youth, decision-makers, providers, and caregivers as co-researchers to collect information from key stakeholders and develop a youth engagement framework for MHA navigation services. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 86 youth with MHA concerns, caregivers of youth with MHA concerns, and service providers and decision-makers at youth MHA agencies, to learn about their perspectives regarding youth engagement in navigation services.
We identified themes of: youth-centered care; empowering youth; family considerations; sense of connection; continuity of care; enhancing knowledge of care options; considerations of equity, diversity, and inclusion; counteracting stigma; demonstrated organizational commitment to youth engagement; and effective evaluation as crucial to youth engagement in navigation services. This framework, developed in partnership with stakeholders and informed by youth or youth-serving participants, offers critical insight into youth engagement in MHA navigation.
By partnering with youth and other key stakeholders to develop this framework, key findings and ongoing considerations provide an important example for other youth MHA services and navigation services seeking to engage youth in their programming.
Learn more about the Family Navigation Project.