Donations to the Build Them Up campaign are already making a number of important research initiatives possible. Expanding knowledge of childhood mental health creates an opportunity to advance new treatments and provide better care for kids.
A robust research framework, built in partnership with the University of Calgary, will integrate with services at the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health. This framework is being developed collaboratively with youth, families and care providers. Through it, experts will follow a cohort of children and adolescents to see how their mental health issues evolve over time and how they respond to treatment. This research will generate new biological, psychosocial, translational and clinical data that can be used to develop, test and refine interventions – a pipeline from discovery to care, all under one roof.
RESEARCH IN ACTION
FACING YOUR FEARS
For autistic children, anxiety can cause debilitating distress and significantly interfere with daily functioning and relationships. Facing Your Fears is a behavioural therapy that helps kids identify their worries and dismantle them, one by one. The program is the centrepiece of a national, five-year study led by researchers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute that aims to understand how best to deliver the program and which families will benefit the most. Read more.
When a child suffers from anxiety or depression, the right medication can be transformative. However, finding the best medication and the best dose can be challenging. Some children may not improve or may even suffer an adverse reaction. The Centre will be home to Canada’s first evidence-based pharmacogenetic testing service in child mental health. Using DNA taken from saliva and collected from children, experts will be able to better tailor medications to a child based on genetic markers. The data will provide scientists with invaluable information that will enable future discoveries and better treatment.
Thousands of kids live with treatment-resistant depression. The Alberta Children’s Hospital has the only pediatric research lab in the country using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to help young people with disorders of the brain. TMS uses magnetic waves to stimulate and rewire the brain, focusing on those areas that regulate emotion, attention span and the ability to organize, plan and function. With your help, Calgary could soon open the world's first clinic to provide teens with this non-invasive, non-pharmacologic therapy. This new TMS clinic will become a leading-edge hub for both treatment delivery and discovery.
With your help, we can:
Simultaneously address novel research questions and problems while improving accessibility and care for an underserved vulnerable population of children.
Improve drug treatment outcomes for young people through genetic testing that will enable specialists to tailor medications and dosages for the individual.
Open Canada's first research clinic using non-invasive brain stimulation to treat depression in adolescents.
These patient-centred research program projects are expected to yield innovative data and transform care for children, teens and their families within one to two years.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
With your support, we will be enabling research that has never before been possible in our community. With scientific study embedded across every program in the Centre, it will be the most robust research-intensive community-based mental health care facility for young people in the country. Ultimately, with new knowledge gained here and around the world, and a better understanding of highly prevalent disorders mental health professionals will be better equipped to effectively intervene and work with families to improve the long-term life course of young people in need.