OUR SHARED VISION

Together, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the University of Calgary are proposing one of the most significant changes our mental health system has ever seen. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and care providers will lead a cultural shift around how the system responds to the needs of emerging adults, creating a critical bridge between pediatric and adult care models. Based on the success, momentum and collaboration while planning for the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, the team is confident that necessary and transformative advancements will be achieved.

Currently, services or therapies targeted for this age group are virtually non-existent. Carving out a place for them in our community–a blend of both virtual and physical spaces–will require a phased approach.

.

iStock-662848418.jpg

PHASE 1

enhance care icon.png

PHASE 1

ENHANCE CARE TODAY. FUTURE PROOF FOR TOMORROW.

Like the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, young people and their families will play an essential role in determining the services and support they need and how best to provide them. Their insights and lived experiences will inform necessary research and help reshape the continuum of care with the goal to answer key questions. How do we encourage more young people to seek help? What does that look like? Where is that most likely to occur? How can specialists better keep young people engaged in their care, rather than drop out?

During Phase 1, the team will:

  • Engage emerging adults in program and service design

  • Design and test new services and enhancements

  • Introduce a new treatment protocol that provides care faster

PHASE 1

research platform icon.png

PHASE 2

BUILD A WORLD-LEADING RESEARCH PLATFORM

Now more than ever, the world is seeing how important scientific research is to understand, treat and cure disease. It is as true for viruses as it is for all physical and mental illness. Globally, the lack of knowledge about the relationship between biology and mental health disorders limits scientific understanding of disease progression and our ability to generate new and effective therapies.

During Phase 2, the team will:

  • Use machine learning to identify important biomarkers in emerging adults

  • Develop new treatment protocols specifically for this group

  • Identify emerging adults who are at high risk for severe mental illness and provide interventions

  • Use non-invasive brain stimulation called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as a novel treatment

blueprint icon.png

PHASE 3

CREATE A BLUEPRINT FOR A NEW CENTRE
FOR EMERGING ADULTS

A purpose-driven and easily accessible centre would give 16- to 24-year-olds a place to go for help – one specially designed by and for them. Phases 1 and 2 will inform the most practical blend of virtual and physical space, how best to engage young people and provide them with support, and, ultimately, design effective, developmentally appropriate therapies for emerging adults here and around the world.

This space will be designed to provide:

  • Fully coordinated care, integrating both physical and mental supports

  • Group treatment specifically designed for emerging adults

  • Group therapy for families, incorporating evidence-based interventions designed to support parents — a first for Calgary

  • Single session therapy

  • Peer support

  • Age-appropriate engagement strategies

  • Health system navigation support — ensuring coordination across the continuum of care, including community agencies