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E2-1: The Road Ahead: Quality of Life Trajectories After Treatment

Within the child and youth mental health sector, there is a notable gap in understanding the post-service well-being of individuals who have received mental health services. This scarcity of information stems from methodological and technological challenges associated with tracking clients post-discharge, hindering our understanding of how children and youth fare after receiving mental health services. To address this knowledge gap, Kinark Child and Family Services is conducting a cross-sectional study, examining quality of life of children and youth at multiple time points, including admission, discharge, and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-discharge.

This study utilizes caregiver and youth reports to assess the functioning of children and youth across physical, emotional, social, and academic domains. The primary research question aims to determine the duration of sustained improvements in quality of life after discharge from a child and youth mental health treatment program. Additionally, the study explores whether the trajectory of quality of life differs based on presenting problems, severity levels, or risk factors observed at admission. This presentation will include a discussion of preliminary findings providing valuable insights into the enduring impact of mental health services on the quality of life of children and youth. The implications of this research may impact how treatment providers follow-up with families, make referrals for services, enhance system coordination, and develop interventions that support sustained improvements in quality of life post-discharge.


Claire McGill, PhD is a Senior Research Advisor with the Planning and Research Department at Kinark Child and Family Services. Claire contributes to research projects that focus on program evaluation, assessment tool testing and development, outcome measurement and applied research. Claire completed a PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph.

Kelli Phythian is the Manager of Research and Evaluation at Kinark Child and Family Services. Kelli is responsible for overseeing research and evaluation activities that support strategic planning, quality improvement initiatives, and clinical decision-making. She oversees the evaluation of programs, services, and change initiatives across the organization, as well as knowledge translation activities associated with this work. Kelli completed a Ph.D. in sociology at Western University.



E2-2: Aftercare: Transitioning From Intensive Youth Treatment To Accessing Community Support

The Aftercare program was developed from receiving client and caregiver feedback who saw a gap in supporting youth reintegrate into the community from the Live In Treatment and Inpatient setting. Research was also collected locally about the impacts of long term residential or institutional settings on youth. The Aftercare program has been successful in bridging gaps ,offering continued support while transferring services within the Greater Toronto Area and some regions of Ontario ( by telephone or online). The goal is to reduce the use of Emergency Departments, provide assessments that will help youth access further services, offer the flexibility to access the service at a later date as needed, and follow up within months of discharge planning. The findings will be shared including measurable data showing improvement on the youth’s symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Jason Langer, Senior Director Quality and Evaluation, started at Youthdale Treatment Centres in 2004 and has worked in many programs and departments over the years including Live-In Treatment, Day Treatment, Inpatient Services and Quality as well as overseeing Records and Privacy.
Jacob Hinves Child and Youth Counsellor , Aftercare. Jacob has worked at Youthdale Treatment Centres for six years in various programming such as Live In Treatment, Day Treatment, and Quality. In his role with the Aftercare program, Jacob offers intensive services involving emotion regulation, advocacy, transitioning routines and community engagement with youth leaving the inpatient, day treatment and live in treatment settings.

Kiran Johal, BSW RSW, Social Worker Aftercare, has worked at Youthdale Treatment Centres for over a year offering case management , service navigation, advocacy, individual and family therapy as well as youth and family group facilitation for youth in the day treatment, inpatient and live in treatment settings.

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