$75,000 OTF grant supports innovations in mental health care for transitional-aged youth


LONDON, ON – On Friday, November 23, 2018, the Mental Health INcubator for Disruptive Solutions (MINDS) of London-Middlesex welcomed community members and stakeholders at Innovation Works for an update on the work of the MINDS team and announced the generous contributions of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

MINDS is a unique research project through Lawson Health Research Institute and has the support of a diverse network of key individuals and partnering organizations including cross-sectoral service providers, community leaders, mental health advocates and youth from the region. 

Local MPP Peggy Sattler (London West), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and OTF Grant Review Team member Chris Harding were on hand to congratulate the MINDS members, including Pillar Nonprofit Network, and hear more about how the $75,000 OTF Grant will contribute to the mental health of transitional aged youth in the London and Middlesex region. 

“Access to mental health services is an absolutely critical issue in London,” said Terrence Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre. “That’s why I’m proud to congratulate MINDS on receiving a generous Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant, which will help transitional-aged youth find innovative solutions to address mental health and addiction issues. MINDS is taking an important step in ensuring that young people in our city can get the care they need.” 

“Pillar Nonprofit Network plays a critical role in building a resilient London,” said Peggy Sattler, MPP for London West. “There are major gaps in mental health services for transitional-aged London youth. The MINDS project championed by Pillar will offer these youths the opportunity to take leadership on the issues of mental health and addictions. I offer my sincere congratulations to Pillar on their grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation.”

As a social innovation lab, the mission of MINDS is to address the complexity of the mental health system for youth and approach the entirety of its broad-ranging factors.

“Evidence from acute care and community sectors shows an increase in the number and acuity of mental health and addiction challenges experienced by our local transitional age youth,” says Dr. Arlene MacDougall, Director and Principal Investigator for MINDS. “We see this as a persistent and ‘wicked’ challenge – it is difficult to define and many factors contribute to it.” Dr. MacDougall is a Lawson researcher and Assistant Director in the area of mental health. 

Based on their work consulting with youth themselves, the team will use a collective impact framework to develop and test high impact solutions to promote mental and emotional wellbeing, and prevent mental illness and addictions among transitional aged youth. 

“We are thrilled that many partners in the community are coming together to look for disruptive solutions that will create a lasting impact for youth,” explains Dr. MacDougall. The goal is to reach these youth earlier on, and provide the kind of support they want and need. 

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first social innovation lab focused on mental health to be established in Canada.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. 


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About Lawson Health Research Institute

Lawson Health Research Institute is one of Canada’s top hospital-based research institutes, tackling the most pressing challenges in health care. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our innovation happens where care is delivered. Lawson research teams are at the leading-edge of science with the goal of improving health and the delivery of care for patients. Working in partnership with Western University, our researchers are encouraged to pursue their curiosity, collaborate often and share their discoveries widely. Research conducted through Lawson makes a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities around the world. To learn more, visit www.lawsonresearch.ca.

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