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The Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health

The Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health at CAMH is a hub for clinical research and community partnerships focused on improving the lives of children, youth and families affected by mental health concerns. 
Our research activities include:

• identifying new mechanisms underlying variation in developmental trajectories,
• developing new ways of screening and delivering mental health services to children, youth and families, and
• evaluating new interventions to improve outcomes.  

Beyond the pursuit of leading-edge clinical research, the centre also serves as a resource for local, provincial, national and international professionals, organizations and governmental bodies concerned with the needs of children, youth and their families.

In addition, the centre provides research training opportunities for residents, graduate students and other trainees in medicine and the allied health professions. The McCain Centre’s academic affiliation is with the Division of Child and Youth Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.​


Research domains

• Biological bases of behaviour and health
• Psychosocial bases of behaviour and health
• Developmental trajectories and predicting outcomes
• Assessment tools and processes
• Innovative intervention research
• Knowledge translation and exchange and systems-level research

Current projects 

• Improving treatment outcomes through rTMS for executive functioning deficits in ASD
• Understanding needs and monitoring outcomes in CAMH’s Concurrent Youth Unit
• Promoting developmentally informed services and optimizing transitions across sectors in communities across Canada
• Integrating technology into service delivery for youth
• Ontario family health study: Promoting the health and well-being of children aged 0 to 6 years
• Transitional-aged youth: Developmental trajectories, diversity, treatment decision-making and healthy outcomes
• Youth concurrent disorders: Development, assessment, treatment and systems change
• Enhancing youth-focused, evidence-informed treatment practices through cross-sectoral collaboration and knowledge exchange: A national youth screening project
• Understanding and rehabilitating youth involved with the court system: Examining the impact of individual risk factors, needs, responsivity, treatment matching, resilience and gender
• Addressing Behaviour and Treatment Effectiveness Project (ABATE) for children with disruptive behaviour
• Utilizing genetic, epigenetic and neuro-imaging approaches to improve understanding of mood disorders in children
• Understanding gender dysphoria and gender-related behaviour in children and adolescents
• Understanding the impact of trauma on youth concurrent disorders and implementing trauma-specific and trauma-informed care
• Improving youth treatment engagement through understanding and enhancing motivation
• Ottawa language study and pathways to adulthood: A 25-year followup study


McCain Centre Director: Dr. Joanna Henderson​, PhD, CPsych
McCain Centre Head of Community Engagement & Partnerships: Gloria Chaim, MSW, RSW
Child, Youth and Family Services Academic Chief and Chief of the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative: Dr. Peter Szatmari, MD, FRCPC 

McCain Centre Clinician Scientists

Dr. Stephanie Ameis 
McCain Centre's Gloria Chaim and Dr. Joanna Henderson
Gloria Chaim (left), Head of Community Engagement & Partnerships for the McCain Centre, and Dr. Joanna Henderson, Director of the McCain Centre


Transforming lives of children, youth and families through discovery, innovation and system change.
Aligning with the vision of CAMH, the McCain Centre is a hub of clinical research and community partnership that brings together researchers and innovators in the field of children, youth and family mental health to (1) identify and develop evidence-based changes to the way that mental health services are currently being offered, (2) demonstrate positive outcomes, (3) implement and sustain the changes through appropriate partnerships, continuing education and knowledge translation, and (4) continuously study the outcomes to feed our findings back into the cycle of development. Our centre is unique in that it emphasizes extensive community engagement and partnership to ensure that the needs of our target populations are understood and being met and that the centre's findings and knowledge are shared broadly to achieve widespread impact. 

Strategic pillars

The centre is structured around three strategic pillars: discovery, innovation and system change. These pillars are inter-related – system change both follows from and influences discovery and innovation.

McCain Centre's strategic pillars​​​​​​​


 Engaging youth


We understand the importance of engaging young people in research and service development processes. This is the mandate of CAMH’s National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC).


 Inaugural conference


​The McCain Centre opened in May 2015 with a conference called Developing Mental Health Pathways and Partnerships in Toronto for Children and Youth.

Find out more about the centre's opening and conference.

See the conference presentations

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