current projects

Our current mental health innovation projects include: 

Physician Toolkit

IAM created the Patient Toolkit to improve clinical appointments for patients with psychosis and schizophrenia. In collaboration with patients and clinical partners, we researched the door-to-door-to door journey of patients. IAM was able to understand the opportunities and challenges pre, during and post-appointment – and, most significantly, to build tools to support those challenges. A test version of our toolkit was completed in December 2019 and in 2020, the innovative solution will be built, further tested and scaled to reach the widest number of people who need it.

Public Spaces & Wellness

At IAM, we explore the way public space design in our communities can influence wellbeing. We believe it takes a multidisciplinary approach to tackle designing healthy public spaces – and ultimately, healthy cities.  We believe there’s potential to renew mental health policies, best practices and design guidelines as they relate to cities and urban environments, creating dialogue between and for developers, planners and municipal, provincial and federal policy makers. We believe One that uses and considers mental wellness and social and economic determinants of health as critical factors in how we redesign public spaces and built environments. A holistic approach using upstream determinants – better housing, nutrition, psychological supports, early childhood needs, income, activity/walkability and more.
Our recent work in this area includes:

Light Therapy

Working with MOCA, IAM evaluated a light therapy installation by artist Apolonija Šušteršič, the first of its kind in North America. In particular, it looks at the effect on museum patrons to determine whether such spaces can help people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or other related depressive symptoms. This is the first large scale light installation used as a wellness intervention, with evidence helping to better understand the potential for scaling in other public spaces, such as retail or recreational centers.

Through our work with MOCA we found that light therapy can improve mental wellbeing by: 
 
purple circle with smiley face and plus sign icon
Lifting mood
purple circle with group of people icon
Fostering Mental Health Conversations
purple circle with chat box icon
Community Space Redesign

IAM is currently partnering with other community agencies to explore design of their public spaces for improved wellbeing (e.g. Scadding Court Community Centre).

Interested in learning more or want to book a physical space design consult? Please email [email protected]

National Prize Challenge in Youth Suicide

An IAM & Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) Collaboration
 
Supporting research/innovation to build youth resilience and combat Canada’s national suicide crisis
 
How do we support our youth to be more resilient and prevent incidences of suicide? That was the impetus for the partnership between Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) and the Institute for Advancements in Mental Health (IAM) and the creation of the first-ever Canada-wide Mental Health Innovation Prize focused on reducing youth suicide.

Launched in fall 2019, the Innovation Prize attracted unique solutions to address a long-standing mental health crisis: that suicide still remains the second leading cause of death for young people in Canada.

Our 2020-2021 prize recipients will be announced soon.