Centre for Breakthroughs in Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention



See the Centre for Breakthroughs in Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention website here


Directed by child psychiatrist Johanne Renaud, the Centre aims to:

  • improve youth’s access to mental health services
  • evaluate the efficacy of different treatments for depression and prevention methods for depression and suicide in Canadian youth

The research teams are not reproducing what is already in place or adding methods of intervention. They are using scientific process to establish which existing methods are most effective in preventing depression and suicide in youth.

Then they will determine how these interventions, treatments, or therapies can benefit patients in other places in order to reduce the overall rate of depression and suicide in youth.

Research projects

1. Predictive factors in the evolution of a major depressive episode in adolescents: A Prospective Clinical, Neurocognitive and Brain Imaging Study

ResearchersJohanne Renaud MD, MSc, FRCPC, Valentin Mbekou PhD, Fabrice Jollant MD PhD, Eric Lacourse PhD. Jean-Chrysostome Zanga MPs, Theodora Mikedis MSW, Sophia Rinaldis MSc, Alexandra Hoehne MSc, Didier Blondin Lavoie BSc.

A number of studies have shown that adolescence is a period in which people can be affected by stressful situations. These events could bring on the symptoms of depression. The evolution of these symptoms is not the same in all adolescents and there exist large differences in the persistence of symptoms, the number of relapses, the nature of remission, etc.

This study strives to observe, over several years, how depressive symptoms evolve in adolescents. We are looking to better understand the basic mechanisms of depression. Better knowledge of the signs of depression will allow us to intervene early in order to offer adolescents appropriate care.

This study involves youth aged 11 to 17 who are recruited on the basis of a diagnosis of major depression from a psychiatrist at our clinic. After giving their consent, participants will complete clinical and blood tests, as well as undergo a brain scan. They will be asked to complete neuropsychological tasks on a computer.

These young people will then be followed for a period of five years, including periodic re-evaluations.

2. Trajectories and patterns of health care service utilization and early life events among youth at risk

Researcher: Johanne Renaud MD, MSc, FRCPC

The goal of the project is to compare at risk youths with those from the general community.

If you are between the age of 12 and 25, you may want to participate in the study.