Mental Health & Addictions


Mental and substance use disorders have been ranked in the top five leading contributors to the global burden of disease. More locally, the burden of mental and substance-use disorders in Ontario is greater than that of all cancers and infectious diseases combined. Researchers in the mental health and addictions cluster are committed to the investigation of a broad spectrum of mental health and addiction. Our research includes population and public health, clinical, and health services perspectives. From a population and public health perspective, we study the distribution of, and risk and protective factors for mental and addiction disorders to inform mental health promotion and prevention. From a clinical perspective, we study physical and psychiatric outcomes of people with mental disorders, and develop interventions aimed at improving treatment and recovery from mental illness. From a health services perspective, we study issues related to access, organization, and delivery of mental health and addiction services, as well as the cross-sectoral intersection of mental and substance use disorders, such as with the education or criminal justice system. Research in this cluster is focused on mental disorders and mental well-being across the life course, from childhood to old age, as well as high-risk and marginalized populations, such as migrant and ethnic minority groups, Indigenous Peoples, individuals with low socio-economic status, and LGTBQ2 groups. We study these issues from local, national, and international perspectives.


To promote the transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral investigation of mental and substance use disorders and positive mental health – including population and public health, clinical outcomes, and health services research – to tackle the high burden of mental disorders globally.


  • Creating a platform that fosters transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration in mental health research, engaging community, service-provider, and academic partners, as well as people with lived experience of mental illness and their family members.
  • Generating research that identifies disparities in risk and protective factors, access to care, and long term outcomes among people with mental illness, as well as determinants of mental well-being, with an aim of increasing health equity.
  • Developing and test innovative screening, prevention, treatment, and recovery-oriented interventions for mental disorders.
  • Engaging in community outreach and knowledge translation initiatives surrounding our work to improve community stakeholder and knowledge user uptake of research and build community capacity for improving mental health services.
  • Fostering discussion around the creation and enhancement of epidemiological and biostatistical methods that advance the study of mental health and addictions.

Methodological Expertise

  • Observational Studies
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analysis
  • Survey & Questionnaire Design
  • Measurement & Assessment
  • Health Administrative Data
  • Community Based Research
  • Quality Improvement
  • Program Evaluation

Researchers in the Mental Health & Addictions Cluster