Ruth Repchuck is a research coordinator on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. Ruth holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Psychology from McMaster University. Her research focuses on the interplay of gender, work, and family and their impacts on mental health. She is an advanced quantitative researcher with a history as an undergraduate research methods educator and over 5 years of experience in leadership roles on various research projects. Her work can be found in journals such as The Sociological Quarterly. Ruth is currently managing the Ontario Ministry of Health funded study ‘Monitoring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response on Mental Health and Well-Being of Children, Young People and their Families in Ontario’.
Christine Rodriguez is a research coordinatoron the Advancing Youth Mental Health Team. Christine currently manages the CIHR-funded study ‘Health Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response on Canadian Children and Youth’ and the School Mental Health Projects. Christine completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biology and Forensic Science at the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Kinesiology with Honours at McMaster University, and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology at McMaster University. Christine has 10+ years of research experience involving children and youth in both clinical and epidemiological settings. She joined the AYM team in January 2021.
Dr. Séamus O’Byrne is a former postdoctoral fellow on the Advancing Youth Mental Health Team. He is currently a clinical psychologist working in the Child and Youth Mental Health Outpatient Program at Ron Joyce in Hamilton. He is also a part-time assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University and acts as a supervisor for the Clinical Child Psychology Residency Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital. His research program focuses on implementing strategies that can facilitate the uptake of measurement-based care within school mental health settings.
Dr. Amanda Sim is a former postdoctoral fellow on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and the Global Health Graduate Programs at McMaster University.Amanda’s program of research aims toidentifyand address risk and protective factors associated with refugee and immigrant children’s mental health through partnership with families, service providers, and policy makers. She is lead investigator with Dr. Kathy Georgiades on Thriving Together, a community-engaged mixed methods study on the mental health needs and help-seeking preferences of refugee and newcomer children and families in Hamilton. As a core member of the Global Parenting Initiative, a consortium of academic institutions, practitioners, and funders scaling up parenting support in the Global South, she leads a study on the Thailand-Myanmar border to develop and test violence prevention interventions for displaced children and families. Amanda holds a doctoratein social intervention from the University of Oxford and a Masters degree in international development from Tufts University. Prior to joining McMaster, she spent over a decade implementing and evaluating parenting and mental health interventions in Afghanistan, Liberia, Thailand, and Ethiopia with the International Rescue Committee.
Dr. Jordan Edwards is a CIHR-funded postdoctoral research fellowon the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. Jordan received his PhD from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University. Jordan’s program of research focuses on the development of a public health surveillance system to monitor mental-ill health among youth in Canada. This work will provide opportunities to compare and contrast estimates of mental-ill health in youth across time, space, and population sub-groups. The goal of this work is to provide policy makers the best possible evidence to inform equitable mental health policy. Jordan has extensive experience using linked survey and health administrative data sources and has published on topics related to migrant mental health, mood and anxiety disorders, and first episode psychosis. Jordan’s work can be found in the journals of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Psychological Medicine, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, and the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
Dr. Jillian Halladay is a former CIHR-funded PhD student on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team and a Registered Nurse.She will be a postdoctoral fellow at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use in Syndey, Australia Fall 2022-2024, though will remain connected to the AYM Team. Her program of work focuses on deepening our understanding of factors that contribute to co-occurring substance use and mental health concerns among youth in the general population and clinical samples, and how this comorbidity impacts clinical care and outcomes. Jillian received the Hamilton Health Sciences New Investigator Fund to support a pilot study examining standardized mental health and substance use assessments in a youth psychiatric inpatient cohort called the Cannabis, Alcohol, Mental Health, and Patterns of Service Use (CAMP) study. Jillian is also currently the PI for a Frayme Great Big Stories Substance Use Grant for a project titled, “Measuring, understanding, and improving quality of life in a young adult substance use program.” Additionally, Jillian is a Research Associate at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research leading program development and evaluation for a novel Young Adult Substance Use Program. Her clinical and research roles are all grounded in identifying, contributing to, and utilizing the best available evidence to improve and optimize the lives of youth.
Dr. Anne Fuller is a PhD candidate on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team and a paediatrician at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Anne’s research is focused on understanding the effects of poverty-related risks on child physical and mental health, with a particular interest the cumulative vulnerabilities experienced by children with chronic health conditions and their families. Her research also aims to understand buffers at the family and community level that may offer protection in the setting of these risks, with the goal of informing meaningful, scalable interventions. Her research recently received a CIHR doctoral award.
MahdisKamaliis a Health Research Methodology PhD candidate on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She holds an MSc in Global Health from McMaster University and a BSc in Psychology from York University. Under the supervision of Dr. Kathy Georgiades, Mahdis’ doctoral work explores inequities in access to mental health care between migrant and non-migrant children and youth, and the contextual factors that contribute to differences. She is also seeking to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic response on disruptions in mental health care and the mental health of youth and their families.
Dr. Shamini Selvakumar is a Health Research Methodology MSc candidate on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She earned her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at McMaster University andsubsequently continued her medical school and pediatric residency training at The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. She is currently in her final year of the Pediatric – Clinician Investigator Program, for which she has received a CIHR fellowship. Her project will compare levels of physical activity engagement between immigrant and non-immigrant youth,utilizing data from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. Specifically, she intends to assess the extent to which mental health, including mood and anxiety disorders, and socio-economic factors may explain these differences.
Steven Ma is a research coordinator on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. He holds a BSc in Life Sciences from McMaster University and an MSc in Global Health from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Ryan Miller is a research assistanton the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. He completed a BSc in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, undertaking an epidemiological undergraduate thesis investigating youth mental health. His research interests are numerous, including rural/urban inequities in health, and the impact of social media on youth mental health.
Joseph Farag Alla is a research assistanton the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. He is currently studying in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. His research interests include children and youth coping mechanisms, immigrants, and the effects of parent employment on child mental health.
Afreen Ahmad is a Health Research MethodologyMSc candidateon the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She previously completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, also at McMaster University. Under Dr. Kathy Georgiades’ supervision, she is exploring a systematic review assessing treatment efficiency and effectiveness of measurement-based care in psychotherapy settings for children and youth. She is also lending administrative and research support on projects related to newcomer, immigrant, and student mental health.
Linda Duong is a research assistant on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She is a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) candidate at McMaster University pursuing a specialization in children’s health. She joined the team underthe supervision of Dr. Kathy Georgiades with support from the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program Summer Research Scholarship which she received in 2022 and 2023. Broadly, her interests lie in the mental health and well-being of children and understanding how various socio-demographic factors are associated with help-seeking behaviour, accessibility of support, and perception of care. Linda is also interested in exploring the various roles schools play in mental health servicing pathways and evaluating targets for intervention within that system.
Natasha Barich is a research assistanton the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology with a Certificate in Law from Queen’s University and is currently obtaining her master’s degree in counselling psychology. During her studies, she completed an undergraduate thesis examining the relation of cognition and physical activity among individuals with Major Depressive Disorder. Her main research interests involve examining treatment effectiveness and efficiency of measurement-based care for adolescents while focusing on the effects that contextual influences such as family and school have on child and youth mental health.
Dr. Emma Nolan is a postdoctoral fellow in theDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. Emma received her PhD in Psychology from Ulster University, Northern Ireland (NI), where she then worked as a Research Associate and Data Analyst on the first nationally representative mental health survey for children and youth in NI. This study, known as the Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey, was a landmark survey for NI and the results of this work continue to influence service provision and policy development. Emma’s current post-doctoral research is in Psychiatric Epidemiology. Her research focuses on understanding the correlates of child and adolescent psychopathology and wellbeing cross-sectionally and longitudinally; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health; using this research to provide information that will support evidenced-based policy and program development and evaluation. Emma has a special interest in exploring the association between adverse childhood experiences and trauma on the development of mental health problems, and the dimensional structure of psychopathology. She has extensive experience in quantitative data analysis and has published on topics related to mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. Emma is also an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and has a history of undergraduate and post-graduate teaching. She is an Associate Editor for Child Abuse Review and has won awards for her research and scientific public speaking.
Dr. Yun-Ju (Claire) Chen is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. Claire received her PhD in Occupational Science from the University of Southern California. Her research spans the fields of child psychiatry, occupational science/therapy, and developmental psychology, with a focus on the heterogeneous behavioural manifestations across the lifespan among children on the neurodevelopmental spectrum. She is passionate about applying various quantitative approaches to address the complex and dynamic nature of typical and atypical development. She is currently involved in the ON:PATH study to understand the longitudinal variability of mental health symptoms as impacted by COVID-19, as well as in the CHSCY study to examine the age-varying patterns of co-occurring health conditions in autism among the Canadian Health Survey of Children and Youth cohort. Her research can be found in the leading journals of autism research (e.g., Autism, Autism Research) and developmental psychology (e.g., Child Development, Development and Psychopathology).
Li Wang is a statistician on the Advancing Youth Mental Health Team. She received her PhD from the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact at McMaster University. She completed a MSc in statistics at McMaster University and an MA in Economics at Nanjing University. She was a statisticianfor the Ontario Child Health Study at the Offord Centre for Child Studies. Her research focuses on the measurement and assessment of child and youth mental health, and child mental health service use, as well as the statistical methodology.
Dr. Katherine T. Cost is a research associate on the Advancing Youth Mental Health team.She earned a Bachelor of Science with Highest Honours from the University of Michigan, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience from Tulane University. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Hospital for Sick Children. Katherine is also an adjunct scientist in the Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health in the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children. She uses advanced statistical techniques to understand the roles of individual and contextual variables in the study of mental health of parents and children, with an interest in how screen-based technologies can impactparent and child mental health and their interactions.