GBF Newsletter Volume 4.6
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Dear Subscribers,
In this issue of the newsletter, we report on the achievement of another major milestone in the ACCESS-Open Minds project - the official launch of the RIPAJ Montreal Site, one of 12 that constitute the ACCESS - Open Minds Network.  

We also want to remind interested parties of the call for Sam Lal Award applications (deadline January 27, 2017). 

Graham Boeckh Foundation
In this issue:
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ACCESS Open Minds - Official Launch of the RIPAJ Montreal site

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January 27th, 2017, Deadline for Applications: 2017 Dr. Samarthji Lal Award
ACCESS Open Minds - Official Launch of the RIPAJ Montreal site

Pictured from left to right:
Diane Aubin, Ian Boeckh, Dr. Amal Abdel-Baki, Paul Setlakwe, Dr. Ashok Malla, J. Anthony Boeckh, Peter Schiefke and Cecile Arbaud

Ian Boeckh, President, Graham Boeckh Foundation

Peter Schiefke, MP for the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth)
On November 9, 2016, the Homeless Youth network (RIPAJ) of downtown Montreal, held its official opening.  RIPAJ is one of 12 pan-Canadian ACCESS Open Minds integrated youth service (IYS) sites (  The opening took place at Dans La Rue, one of the many community service sites in Montreal that deal with youth in high risk situations of homelessness and mental ill health that form the RIPAJ network.
There were some 150 people attending the opening ceremonies to mark the transformation of RIPAJ`s mental health services and the launch of its research activities as part of the ACCESS Open Minds project.
RIPAJ is a model showcase for bringing a number of community organizations together in an effective network to integrate mental health services and to greatly improve the ability of young people and their families to navigate the system.
The gathering included many prominent people involved in the project.  The atmosphere was one of excitement and emotion as the realization of the dream of transformation of mental health services for young people has become a reality.  The essential idea of this transformation is to integrate mental health, homeless and other relevant services for a very vulnerable young population.  It provides, in loose terms, one-stop shopping that is stigma-free, rapid access and ease of navigation.
There were a number of prominent speakers including Dr. Ashok Malla, Principal Investigator for the ACCESS Open Minds project, Dr. Amal Abdel-Baki, Principal Investigator for the ACCESS OM-RIPAJ site and psychiatrist at the CHUM, Diane Aubin, psychologist for Dans La Rue and Site Lead for the ACCESS OM-RIPAJ site, Ian Boeckh, President of GBF, and Peter Schiefke, MP for the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth).
Integrated youth mental health service sites are developing rapidly across the country.  A key role that the 12 ACCESS OM sites will play is to collect and evaluate the data that will provide desperately needed scientific evidence to support the scale up of this approach across the country.  RIPAJ and its partners, which include Dans La Rue, University of Montreal Hospital Centre (CHUM), the Homeless Youth Clinic of the CSSS Jeanne-Mance, the Refuge des jeunes, and others, will play a key role.
We are delighted that the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canadian Minister of Health, is very supportive of integrated youth mental health services.  She said:  
“The Government of Canada is proud to support ACCESS Open Minds in partnership with the Graham Boeckh Foundation. The Network will play a key role in improving youth mental health care in Canada. I offer my congratulations to the research team and community partners on the opening of this site in Montreal dedicated to helping young people living in precarious circumstances.”
ACCESS Open Minds is the first pan-Canadian network to be launched under the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).  Funded equally by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Graham Boeckh Foundation, this $25 million dollar initiative aims to sustainably transform the service system to optimally meet the needs of youth aged 11 to 25 who are experiencing mental ill health.  See press release:

January 27th, 2017 Deadline for Applications: 2017 Dr. Samarthji Lal Award

In honor of Dr. Lal, GBF awards $25,000 annually to a researcher who is making an outstanding contribution in the area of psychiatry, with a focus on major mental disorders.
Dr. Lal was a co-founder of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre with Dr. N.P.V. Nair in 1979, and set up Canada’s first brain bank at the Douglas Hospital Research Institute in 1980.  Dr. Lal played a pivotal role in setting up the McGill Centre for Research on Schizophrenia, and in the establishment of the Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia at the Douglas Institute of McGill University.
The deadline to submit applications for the 2017 Dr. Samarthji Lal award for mental health research is January 27th, 2017.
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