Partnering with Persons with Lived Experience

The Centre has two Community Advisory Committees (CAC) composed of persons with lived experience (PLEs), which ensure its research is impactful and relevant to the those who have experienced the topics we study. Both committees provide advice and suggestions based on lived experience to improve research, outreach, and ultimately, clinical care. The Centre strives for meaningful PLE engagement; our CAC members are involved in all stages of the research process, including research planning, execution, dissemination and evaluation.

Education and Outreach

We hold educational events across Canada for health-care providers and the general public on topics including depression treatment, assessment, and self-care. We also produce digital resources. With 1,300+ event attendees, 40,000+ views of our digital resources, and a newsletter readership of 4,000+ people spanning 20 countries, education and outreach is an integral component to our program. The Centre also strives to increase mental health literacy in the student population, and holds a lecture series on the neuroscience of treatment-resistant depression and suicide.

We also recognize the importance of wellness promotion to complement ongoing research initiatives. To this end, we hold community outreach events that aim to decrease the stigma around depression, suicide and mental illness, including documentary screenings, storytelling and performances. Many of our events feature wellness workshops, which use art and physical exercise as media to heighten understanding and compassion.

Collaborations with Community Impact

A few of our ongoing projects include:

Storybook Project: a published collection of personal stories related to suicide is under development to spread awareness of suicide and mental health issues, decrease the stigma associated with suicide and encourage personal healing through creativity.

CHOICE-D Project: the CHOICE-D Guide is a zero-cost resource for patients and families about depression treatment options available in Canada. The guide empowers individuals to understand evidence-based depression treatment options, encourages a patient-centred approach to treatment selection and promotes equitable access to information about depression care. Strategic dissemination of the CHOICE-D Guide will be evaluated to assess the impact of this guide on the quality of care, including in the domains of effectiveness, safety, efficiency, timeliness, and equitability.