Evidence-Based Treatment for Adolescent Mental Health
Serious mental health problems are the single largest health burden facing young Canadians, affecting at least 20 percent of people aged 15 to 25. Unfortunately, many teens do not outgrow these problems: sometimes, they persist into early adulthood and beyond.
Although we have made progress in developing early childhood prevention programs and increasing their accessibility, few evidence-based programs are available for teens, and access is limited. Dr. Marlene Moretti, Canada Research Chair in Youth Clinical Psychological Science, believes this needs to change.
A world-renowned expert in adolescent mental health, Moretti and her research team are investigating the risk and protective factors related to adolescent mental health. She also works collaboratively with government stakeholders, practitioners and families to translate new research into effective, efficient, portable programs to advance adolescent mental health.
Moretti and her team are evaluating this treatment program with 900 families in urban and rural centres across British Columbia. They are examining the influence of gender, genetic markers, social–emotional resilience, and family and social support on treatment outcomes. Collaborative studies are also underway at other sites in Canada, as well as in Sweden and Italy.
By addressing significant gaps in the availability and accessibility of mental health services, Moretti’s research could improve health outcomes for teens now and as they move into adulthood.