At IAM, we use innovation to improve mental health care for people. Our community based mental health innovation platform acts as a convener of innovators, mental health organizations, investors, venture and social capitalists, social innovation leaders, designers, and others who are committed to making changes to improve the mental health care and well-being of people.
IAM houses Canada’s first and only community-based innovation platform that not only works with people living with mental illness, but positions them as drivers of our work.
In this way, IAM is applying an innovative, human-centred lens to how we create mental health solutions, for people, with people. We have laid the foundation to address pressing mental health challenges with partners in different sectors, using an inclusive and collaborative approach.
Why innovation in mental health?
The need is real and the time is now. Mental health concerns are on the rise, creating pressure on systems, health care providers, and families.
Innovation in mental health care is lacking
- The World Health Organization reports that an estimated 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime, with more than 450 million people currently affected world-wide.
- Mental health concerns are on the rise in Canada and world-wide across all age groups, including an aging population. The economic and social health costs are high and still rising: the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) reported that without changes, mental illnesses will cost our economy at least $50 billion yearly.
- By 2041, it is estimated that over 8.9 million Canadians will be living with a mental illness.
- Research indicates that almost a third of Canadians who seek mental health care report that their needs are unmet or only partially met. This means that current approaches to mental health care leave too many people falling through the cracks.
Putting people at the centre
- According to a 2018 Converge report, none of the 45 largest innovation labs/centres in Canada focuses exclusively on mental health care; moreover, most have been established independently of one another and lack coordination, knowledge sharing opportunities and impact on the broader system.
- Out of the current innovation centres and labs that do work on initiatives to improve mental health and wellness, few if any are thinking about how to get from idea generation to solution creation and widespread access.
- IAM wants to bring siloed innovators and innovation shops together to integrate knowledge sharing but to also help create real and meaningful solutions that people need, faster.
- At IAM, people are in the driver’s seat of creating solutions to meet their mental health care needs
- At IAM, we listen: we ensure that solutions are based on the documented, demonstrated needs of people and that we are co-designing solutions with people living with or impacted by mental illness
Our Innovation Model