Current Projects

Light bulb above the text "are you an innovator or researcher interested in youth mental health?" in front of a blue background.

IAM & Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) innovation prize challenge

Together with MHRC, IAM is tackling the issue of youth suicide among those living with schizophrenia and/or psychosis, and examining opportunities in health and social services to help improve this. This is a donor-invested award, featuring a topic that is open to design teams to prototype around and create a tested intervention. Concepts will engage youth and/or caregivers during idea shaping, testing, iteration and refinement. The focus is on frugal innovation, as well as other low cost, high impact models such as peer-to-peer and/or caregiver supports. Applications for the prize challenge are now open!

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Group of individuals in the Light Therapy Room at MOCA.

Public Spaces & Wellness – MOCA Light Therapy

Working with MOCA, IAM is compiling evidence by evaluating a light therapy installation by artist Apolonija Šušteršič, the first of its kind in North America. In particular, it looks at the effect on museum patrons to determine whether such spaces can help people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or other related depressive symptoms. This is the first large scale light installation used as a wellness intervention, with evidence helping to better understand the potential for scaling in other public spaces, such as retail or recreational centers.

 
 
Individual pointing at tablet with physician in doctor’s office.

Physician Toolkit on Mental Health Therapy Solution

IAM is leading an end-to-end project from design research to building a prototype solution for patients and caregivers to optimize and improve on the patient experience during their visit to their doctor. The entirety of this project is co-designed with patients, caregivers and physicians. Results expected in early winter 2019.

 
 
Two individuals sitting on chairs talking to each other and making notes.

First touch-point: CBT-p (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis) For Front-line Workers — An Evaluation 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an approach used in psychotherapy that allows someone in a supportive role to work closely with an individual and help them identify and solve problems. Together, they overcome difficulties by altering unhelpful patterns of thinking or behaviour, and their responses to situations. CBT-p is CBT tailored specifically to those affected by psychotic illnesses. CBT is already a proven treatment for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and there is a growing body of research indicating that CBT can reduce positive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, as well as negative symptoms, including social withdrawal, difficulty in expressing emotions and loss of motivation.