Dr. Srividya Iyer and Dr. Jai Shah : Canadian Network for Child and Youth Mental Health Trials secures federal funding

May 23, 2024

CIHR Accelerating Clinical Trials program propels Canada’s first child mental health trials network

 Federal funding has been announced for the Canadian Network for Child and Youth Mental Health Trials (CYMH Trials Network), a new network to support clinical research that aims to improve mental health care for children nationwide.

Mental health challenges remain a serious health issue among Canadian youth. Seventy-five percent of mental disorders emerge before age 25. At any given time, one in every eight children under the age of 18 years has a mental disorder requiring specialized health services.

A research network for child and youth mental health clinical trials does not yet exist in Canada, unlike other high-income countries.

The CYMH Trials Network will support high-quality, innovative clinical trials designed to improve mental health care for Canadian children.

Guided by a team that spans 12 institutions and six provinces, including partnerships with national research and training networks and centres, the CYMH Trials Network boasts a nationwide presence. Funding support from the Accelerating Clinical Trials (ACT)/ Accélérer les Essais Cliniques (AEC) Consortium, totalling $150,000, also underlines federal endorsement of the network.

This funding announcement marks an important first step in improving mental health treatments for children. The network is also exploring partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and tech start-ups to build upon their findings and streamline medication access for families. Treatments developed through these partnerships could be put into a clinical care setting— allowing children to access safe therapies vetted and formulated for their specific needs.

A key facet of the network is bringing together researchers, patient partners, Indigenous and community leaders, and decision-makers from across the country to improve child mental health care.

Dr. Srividya Iyer and Dr. Jai Shah from the Douglas Research Centre and McGill University are among key leaders within this network.

For more information, or media inquiries, please contact:

Srividya.iyer@mcgill.ca or jai.shah@mcgill.ca