Hosted by the International Association of Youth Mental Health in partnership with Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) and McGill University’s Douglas Institute in Association with the Access Network and the University of Montreal



On behalf of the Conference Organising and Program Committees we are delighted to invite you to attend the Third International Youth Mental health Conference – Transformations: Next Generation Youth Mental Health.

New models are emerging in the youth mental health field that embrace therapeutic optimism and incorporate the principals of prevention, early intervention, and recovery. They place young people and their families at the centre of decisions about service and policy development. Youth-friendly accessibility, engagement, and age-appropriate interventions are key to their success.

Building on the highly success and momentum from IAYMH 2013 in Brighton, England, Transformations will focus on how we make the transition from traditional mental health service models to the next generation of programs and services that will better meet the needs of young people and emerging adults. This conference will be an opportunity to showcase current thinking and practice that have emerged since 2013 and will build on the vital contribution that young people made to the conference through an even more robust youth engagement program.

This conference provides an opportunity for health professionals, youth workers, educators, policy makers, young people and family members to come together and learn about new and emerging developments that are striving to make changes that impact globally.

The conference will be held in Montreal. Throughout its colourful history, Montreal has been in turn a French settlement, a British stronghold and a bilingual city. Today it is officially bilingual and proud of its status as the largest French-speaking city in North America and second largest French-speaking city in the world. In fact, this is a wonderful example of a truly international city where newcomers feel right at home and visitors will always find someone who speaks their language.

We look forward to welcoming you in Montreal in October 2015.

 A Welcome Message from Prof. Pat McGorry, President, IAYMH

prof-mcgorry-headshotWelcome to Montreal and to the 3rd International Conference on Youth Mental Health.  The mental health of young people is a priceless resource for communities around the world since it is the key determinant of the mental wealth and prosperity of society as a whole.  In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that mental ill health and its correlates are the major health issue affecting young people with 50% experiencing significant mental ill health at some stage during the transition to adulthood.  This is not an academic or philosophical issue but an intensely practical one since such mental ill health puts lives and futures at genuine risk.  The neglect until now of the predicament of young people in such distress and danger has been described as a form of self harm that our society has inflicted upon itself.   Fortunately this is all changing.  In partnership with young people themselves and families, mental health reformers  in a number of countries have begun to build a new and evidence based approach to mental health care which aims to deliver early intervention in a stigma free setting.

This approach blends developmental thinking with epidemiology and seeks to replace the paediatric/adult model of health care with a more continuous one much more appropriate to the needs of adolescents and emerging adults in the 21st century.  Of course there are a myriad of perspectives and sources of knowledge which can be drawn upon to build the growing field of youth mental health and these will be on display during this unique conference.  Anyone who attended the meetings in Melbourne in 2010 and Brighton in 2013 knows that this is a mental health conference unlike any other.   The presence of young people in substantial numbers and in key roles absolutely transforms both the content and experience of such events.  It is truly  appropriate that this year’s conference is being held in Montreal, since Canada has shown great leadership in investing in transformational research in youth mental health which should in turn catalyse reform and investment in youth mental health care.

The conference program has been assembled to maximise creativity, communication and connection, as well as featuring new ideas, showcasing new evidence and translating skills and knowledge in our exciting new field.  We hope that you are inspired, energised and empowered by this event to contribute to the next phase of growth and progress in youth mental health.

 A Welcome Message from Dr. Ashok Malla

McGill’s Douglas Institute and Lead, ACCESS Network

ASHOK MALLA_photoI would like to personally welcome you to Montréal, our uniquely Euro-Canadian city, host of the 3rd International Conference on Youth Mental Health. This conference will be held in the miasma of the myriad colours of our autumn and the artistic atmosphere of the city with the spirit of transforming youth mental health service.

Youth are the future of any society and their successful transition to adulthood is of the greatest significance. While adolescence and young adulthood are the most exciting periods of life, they also embody the greatest risk for problems of mental health that can derail future trajectories of life and its productivity in multiple domains. The subject matter of this conference is, therefore, of vital importance to society.

Mental health problems affect a large proportion of young people and few currently receive the help they need, however, majority of these problems are amenable to relatively minimal and non-intrusive interventions, if provided at the right time in the right manner within an atmosphere of respect for and involvement of youth and their families. Also serious problems often present earlier as less serious ones and could be remedied in an easier manner in a transformed system of service, the types of transformation that will be part of the subject matter for this conference. Several such transformational interventions are being undertaken in collaboration with young people and their families in Canada, Australia, the UK and elsewhere that have the promise of producing very positive outcomes for individuals, families and society.

This conference is unique in that it brings youth, service providers, families, researchers and policy makers together on equal footing to share what we already know, what new knowledge is currently being produced, what transformations in service delivery are being conducted and investigated and how we can implement fundamental changes to the way care is delivered to youth. This is not a typical ‘nerdy’ conference where academics get up and present their own data and other academics either applaud or criticize them. This is a conference where young people, academics, service providers and all other stakeholders share information in ways that is mutually understandable. This conference will highlight the big steps that have been taken in engaging young people with other stakeholders and the momentum currently taking shape in Canada and elsewhere which involves not only the traditional sectors of service delivery but young people, families, governments and philanthropy in shaping the future of youth mental health.

Conference Themes:

  • Young people and emerging technologies: issues and opportunities
  • Youth engagement and participation in services and research
  • Innovative and optimal models of care
  • Families, Friends and Society: the scaffolding for transition
  • Causal and moderating influences on young people
  • Building the next generation workforce

Streams for Oral, Posters and Table Top Presentations

  • New service models, care culture and workforce
  • New biotherapies and psychosocial treatment options
  • Brain development and functioning
  • Social media, e-health and new technologies
  • Strength-based approaches resilience and recovery
  • Self-harm and suicide
  • Employment and vocational recovery
  • Community engagement
  • Substance use and addictions
  • School and Campus-based mental health initiatives
  • Measuring what works: Outcomes and outcome measures
  • Mental health literacy and stigma
  • Vulnerable and diverse population groups
    • Youth in contact with the criminal justice system
    • Mental Health of Indigenous young people
    • Mental health of LGBTQI young people