Research and action for teens

Child, Youth and Family Program

Research and Action for Teens (RAFT) is a comprehensive program of research designed to better understand the needs of youth with substance use and mental health concerns and their families and to build the capacity of professionals and the system to meet those needs.

The RAFT program is led by researchers in the Child, Youth and Family Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). It is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Provincial Centre for Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and the Rx&D Health Research Foundation

The RAFT program of research involves several components:

  • A three-year study of 1,500 youth recruited in Grades 7 & 8 to gather information about trajectories of mental health and substance use as they transition from childhood to adolescence.
  • Evaluation of the feasibility of a youth-focused treatment combining individual motivational enhancement and skills training groups based on dialectical behaviour therapy, as well as skills training and support groups for families.
  • The Ontario Youth Screening Project (OYSP), a system-level initiative with six communities to support the development of collaborative cross-sectoral networks of youth-serving agencies to implement a common screening tool and gather data to better understand the needs of local youth aged 12 – 24 years (reports below).

The RAFT team is comprised of multi-disciplinary researchers, clinicians, and other decision-makers, including a number of individuals from across CAMH and other organizations in Ontario. In addition, RAFT is partnering with more than 20 community–based agencies to implement this innovative program of research.

To read the project reports click on the links below:

If you are interested in also reviewing the findings from the National Youth Screening Project, please click here.