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Our Approach

The way we work together makes all the difference


We work with and for youth and their communities to better understand the lives, mental health, and well-being of young people, and to design, implement, research, and build capacity and advocate for youth-attuned, effective and culturally and contextually relevant services, supports and policies in Canada and globally.



Positionality and Reflexivity

We take steps to understand who we are, our assumptions, our beliefs and our experiences and how these aspects influence the research process.


Prioritizing inclusion

We engage youths; families/carers; Indigenous partners; partners in the health and social services, non-profit and philanthropic sectors; community members; and policymakers in conceiving and implementing research and disseminating and translating its findings. We employ different approaches for stakeholder engagement depending on the project and stakeholder preferences (e.g., community-based participatory research, arts-based participatory methods, co-design, patient preference modeling, collecting data from and about patients, families, clinicians, and programs/systems, etc.). No matter which approaches we use, they are centred on relationships, reciprocity, and respect. To facilitate engagement, we invest time (e.g., meetings during evenings as youth often prefer this, staff time to meet and support stakeholders) and resources (e.g., honorariums for patient and family partners, funds for community sites).


Multiple methods

Our work uses diverse quantitative, qualitative, mixed, arts-based and other methods. See our research projects and publications sections for examples.



We care deeply about and enjoy mentoring and training undergraduate and graduate students, research-track residents, postdoctoral fellows, young scientists, and research personnel. Click here to know more.


Fun and support

You read that right! Fun, food, friendship, laughter, collaboration, connection, community, celebrating our diversity, mentorship, support, and an emphasis on growth and well-being are an important part of who we are as a team. Do check our pictures out!


Learning and bettering

 As a team, we seek to continuously learn and improve. In our work, we promote a learning health system approach which brings health and community networks together to use data, stories, and experiences to continuously identify shared problems, co-design solutions, and improve care, services, and policy.


Action for equity

Our research focuses on designing and testing innovative interventions to address equity gaps in youth mental health. We work in multiple Quebec, Canadian and global contexts, focusing on diverse, underserved youths. We align with open science practices that can advance equity. We act to mitigate systemic barriers to research participation (e.g., inaccessible language) and attend to gender and other intersecting identities (e.g., physical disability, ethnicity, rurality) in the questions we ask, the stakeholders we partner with, the participants we recruit, and in our methods, analysis, and dissemination. We strive to have equitable partnerships in our global work.


Real-world impact

We work closely with multiple stakeholders which helps our research match their priorities and result faster in better practice, policy, and outcomes. We also use many approaches to share our research and translate it into real-world impacts such as publications, conferences, print, digital and social media, data visualization, youth-friendly briefs, policy briefs, webinars, training, sharing circles and expressive arts. We support partners and communities in building sustainable and scalable capacities.



Our work often converges lenses from and brings together experts from varied disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, public health, sociology, social work, anthropology, the arts, geography, and computer science.




We commit to continuously paying attention to and aligning our values, beliefs, and activities.


Lived experience-centered

We commit to foregrounding the voices of those with lived experience and those who have been historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized.


Social Justice

We commit to upholding equity, inclusion, and rights in our work, and to using our work to further these principles in youth mental health and well-being. We acknowledge and prioritize action on the social and structural determinants of health.


Acknowledgement and Commitment

We acknowledge that the lands on which we work have long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst many Indigenous peoples and commit to working respectfully with Indigenous Peoples (see Land acknowledgment). We also commit to reflecting on how we contribute to and benefit from ongoing processes of colonization and to supporting Indigenous self-determination. We follow relevant principles for Indigenous engagement in research and data governance.



We commit to examining ourselves (our histories, backgrounds, position, values, biases, limitations, etc.), and to gaining deeper understanding and respect of people and communities by learning from them about their lives, histories, and experiences and acknowledging and addressing power differences. We embrace that we are part of something so much larger than us.



We commit to awe and the innate joy in learning and creativity. There is so much we do not know about. We value different perspectives, experiences, and sources and forms of knowledge. 



We commit to upholding equity, inclusion, and rights in our work, and to using our work to further these principles in youth mental health and well-being. We acknowledge and prioritize action on the social and structural determinants of health.



We commit to upholding the highest standards of integrity by conducting research according to ethical principles, frameworks, and standards; striving for rigour, accountability, and quality; and supporting an environment where integrity and ethics are seen as foundational.  

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