Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario

Research Report Round-up

What you need to know

Creating Together has developed a research agenda for health systems and population health research focused on mental health and addictions that will provide guidance for funders of research and stakeholders in Ontario.

The project has also identified knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) needs and capacity building approaches for greater collaborative research and effective KTE. EENet has developed a Research Report Round-up of the report, “Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario.”

Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format. Read it below or access the PDF here.

Title and link to report: Creating together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario
Author(s): Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network (OMHAKEN) – now Evidence Exchange Network (EENet)
Year: 2011
Location: Toronto, ON 

What this report is about

creating together has developed a research agenda for health systems and population health research focused on mental health and addictions that will provide guidance for funders of research and stakeholders in Ontario. creating together also identified knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) needs and capacity building approaches for greater collaborative research and effective KTE. The report is based on extensive consultation with provincial stakeholders, including Persons with Lived Experience, Family Members, Service Providers, Allied Profession and Sectors, Policy Makers, Service Planner, Funders and Provincial Organizations, and Researchers. creating together was initiated by the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network (OMHAKEN) in collaboration with fifteen provincial organizations, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

There was a remarkable degree of consensus among the various groups about the research priorities. The synthesized research priorities that emerged included:

  • Population health research is needed to better understand how to mitigate risk and build resilience (e.g., for children, youth, and families). This illustrates the importance assigned to
  • health promotion and prevention.
  • Learning how to intervene to influence the social determinants of health (e.g., housing, income, employment) with a special focus on vulnerable populations. Economic evaluation and system monitoring should be employed to this end.
  • Research about continuity of care and access to care needs to be conducted in various settings (e.g., rural and remote, primary health care) and tailored to the needs of particular vulnerable populations (e.g., the elderly, Aboriginal communities, people with co‐morbid disorders, people with low income, LGBT, women, etc.). Better data quality is crucial to this work.
  • Persons with lived experience and their families are particularly interested in being involved in research that is aimed at deepening understanding of, and addressing stigma and


Additional findings include:

  • Further investment in effective knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) methods is needed to ensure that all mental health and addictions stakeholders receive research results in a timely fashion and through media that are accessible, tailored to their needs, and in user‐friendly formats and language.
  • Ontario has a rich resource base upon which to draw for building capacity in collaborative research and KTE. This base has been strengthened through the involvement of the creating together Co‐sponsors and Supporters.
  • Stakeholders expressed strong interest in being engaged in research on all topics and endorsed the greater involvement of persons with lived experience in mental health, problematic drug use, and other addictions and their family members in research activities. The consultations supported the need for developing capacity for community‐based participatory research.
  • The priority topics and the need for improved KTE practices that were identified in the consultations are consistent with the findings of other policy and research consultations in

Ontario and across Canada. 

How can this report be used

The results of the consultations will be used to guide decisions about investments in these research domains and KTE in Ontario. They should encourage researchers and others to move forward in a collaborative fashion. The results also identify areas that might require additional or reallocated resources to address the need for new knowledge and knowledge to action gaps. The research agenda can supplement and complement the report from the Minister’s Advisory Group by articulating the research needs associated with a transformation of our mental health and addictions systems.

Seven of creating together’s fifteen provincial mental health and addictions organization have also committed to using the results to inform their funding and resource allocation decisions about health services and population health research. 

Population addressed

The stakeholder groups approached were: persons with lived experience; family members; researchers; service providers; allied professions and sectors; and, policy makers, system
planners, funders and provincial organizations.

Type of study

The report is based on extensive consultation and surveys with provincial stakeholders.

Key words: Social Determinants of Health, Risk, Resilience, Health Promotion, Prevention, Stigma, Discrimination, Continuity of Care, Vulnerable Populations

Contact person/source

Heather Bullock, Director Knowledge Exchange
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
416.535.8501 x4457
heather_bullock [at] camh [dot] net


Report available in English 


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