Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD)
The Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre is one of several Centres of Innovation at CAMH with a focus on research excellence, clinical innovation, education and training, and knowledge exchange concerning neurodevelopmental disabilities and mental health. The centre includes several scientists who work closely with trainees, patient and family advisors to study and develop ways to improve the mental health of this population. Scientists at the centre are running several research projects focused on mental health and disability.
Learn how we are supporting wellness and mental health for people with developmental disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, directed by Dr. Yona Lunsky, is the first centre of its kind in Canada and was created through a visionary $10.4-million gift from the Azrieli Foundation. The Centre’s efforts are organized around four pillars – research excellence, clinical innovation, education and training, and knowledge exchange. Scientists work in partnership with both clinicians and people with lived experience to share valuable knowledge, resources and expertise across CAMH, throughout the province, and nationally so no one is left behind. Recognizing the mental health issues experienced by adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, our centre is committed to building capacity and transforming how mental health services are provided to this underserved and often marginalized group. By investing in scientists and fellows who are early in their careers, we are driving discovery, building greater capacity, and training the experts of tomorrow.
Clinical Innovation: Working closely with CAMH's Adult Neurodevelopmental Services (ANS), scientists and fellows train within a rich, clinical setting, exploring new ways to adapt treatments to meet the needs of adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.
Research Excellence: Our centre’s scientists, fellows, and graduate trainees work together across disciplines and research areas, including psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, rehabilitative sciences, applied disability studies, and health services research.
Education and Training: Graduate trainees, fellows, and scientists work closely with CAMH Education and Professional Practice to integrate teaching about this population into broader mental health care curriculum, clinical training opportunities, and patient and family education, including Project ECHO Mental Health and the Patient and Family Learning Space.
Knowledge Exchange: To maximize the reach of discovery and educational efforts, the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre is committed to changing how information and resources for this population are developed and shared with care providers, patients, their families and the CAMH community.
Dr. Yona Lunsky
Director, Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre
The Centre is the spark. We’re really making something that’s never been done before—and we’re making it here at CAMH.
About 45 per cent of adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities—such as an intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome—also have a mental illness including addiction, yet this population faces profound challenges in getting the care they need.
Through the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, we will drive discovery, build greater capacity, and train the experts of tomorrow in this field. The ripple effect of this work will reach across Canada and ultimately around the world. We will drive clinical care, research, education and training—and share our knowledge globally.
CAMH has already demonstrated a clear commitment to responding to this urgent need and improving care in this field through our clinical services, in which rich clinical and research training is available, and through a focus on this population within the Geriatric and Adult Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry Division—but we must create the capacity to achieve so much more.
Through this Centre, we are able to pay attention to mental illness, including addictions, in adults with very complex illnesses—both mental and physical. And to change the way we deliver care, we will train the mental health providers of tomorrow—nurses, doctors and students from a range of health care disciplines.
In the Azrieli Centre, this population will get the care it deserves.
Azrieli Centre will provide support for up to four postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) pursuing research in adult neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disability, autism) and mental health.