Donations to the Build Them Up campaign have made 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, integrates with services at The Summit. This framework was 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.
Youth are invited to participate in research by visiting Mental Health Research 4 Kids.
RESEARCH IN ACTION
FACING YOUR FEARS
For children on the autism spectrum, anxiety can cause debilitating distress and significantly interfere with daily functioning and relationships. Facing Your Fears is a behavioural therapy initiative that helps kids identify their worries and dismantle them, one by one. The program is the centrepiece of a national 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 Summit is home to Canada’s first evidence-based pharmacogenetic testing service in child mental health. Using a child’s DNA collected from their saliva, 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.
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. The Summit’s new TMS clinic will become a leading-edge hub for research and discovery of new therapies to help children and youth with conditions such as ADHD, anxiety and depression.