Youth Mental Health and Early Intervention


Leader: Lena Palaniyappan, MD, PhD

The YMHEI group consists of researchers working on mental health problems of youth including not only diagnosed conditions (psychotic disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, ADHD and other externalizing disorders, autism, and substance use disorders), but also high-risk conditions with a specific emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
This group takes a population-based approach aimed at identifying/researching the whole spectrum of risk and resilience factors leading to mental disorders, with the goal of translating findings into preventive and therapeutic interventions. Our motto is ‘improving care through research’ as already demonstrated through several well-established clinical programs (e.g. PEPP- Montreal, eating disorders, ADHD) and major clinical research projects (ACCESS Open Minds). We aim  to  include patients and their families in the design, implementation, and scaling-up research. We prioritize an integrated approach of identification of biomarkers for risk or disease states, outcomes, or response to treatments based on sophisticated imaging, physiological, and molecular techniques.

Research Program

The objectives of our program are:

  1. Identifying early risk /resilience factors, many of them have already been identified and are being studied by members of our group
  2. Study and understand the mechanisms by which these factors lead to symptoms and dysfunction
  3. Translate this knowledge into innovative preventive and therapeutic approaches.

Primary Researchers

David Benrimoh

McGill Lab for Computational Psychiatry and Translation (McPsyt)

Linda Booij

Eating Disorders Continuum
Mallar Chakravarty, PhD

Mallar Chakravarty

Computational brain anatomy
manuela ferrari 2022

Marie-Claude Geoffroy

Longitudinal epidemiology of suicide and related mental disorders accross the lifespan and interventions to promote mental health
Natalie Grizenko, MD

Natalie Grizenko

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder research
Mimi Israel, MD, MSc

Mimi Israel

Eating disorders
Dr. Srividya Iyer

Srividya N. Iyer

Youth mental health and early intervention for psychosis, in Canada and beyond
Ridha Joober, MD, PhD

Ridha Joober

Genetics and pharmacogenetics of psychiatric disorders, Youth mental health and early intervention in psychotic disorders
Sherif Karama, MD, PhD

Sherif Karama

Genetic and environmental effects on brain development across the lifespan and corollary impacts on cognition
Martin Lepage, PhD

Martin Lepage

CRISP group: Comprehensive research into schizophrenia and psychosis
Ashok Malla, MD, FRCPC

Ashok Malla

First Episode, High Risk for Psychosis and Early Intervention and ACCESS Open Minds
Lena Palaniyappan

Rachel Rabin

Neurocognitive and social cognitive function in individuals with substance use disorders and co-morbid psychiatric illness
headshot-Delphine Raucher-Chené

Pablo Rusjan

Molecular Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography, Kinetic Modeling of PET radioligands, Clinical applications of PET in neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry

Geneviève Sauvé

Mental health and occupational functioning
Jai Shah

Jai Shah

Early intervention, first episode psychosis, at-risk mental states, youth mental health, clinical staging in psychiatry

Howard Steiger

Eating Disorders Program

Associated Researchers


Marie-Josée Fleury

Organisation and adequacy of mental health services

Cecilia Flores

Adolescent brain development and susceptibility to psychopathology
Suzanne King, PhD

Suzanne King

Role of prenatal maternal stress in the development of psychopathology
Dr. Eric Latimer

Eric Latimer

Mental health policy and economic evaluation
Romina Mizrahi

Massimiliano Orri

Understanding the risk factors for suicidal behaviour across the lifespan
Johanne Renaud

Johanne Renaud

Youth suicide and suicidal behaviours