The Behavioural development, Long-term Outcomes and Opportunities to optimize youth Mental health trajectories (BLOOM) Research Program

While some see the dandelion as merely a weed, this humble plant is also a symbol of hope, healing, and resilience. This yellow flower is the first to bloom after the harshness of winter.

BLOOM is a research program that aims to better understand the onset of mental issues in young people in order to help prevent them and improve access to specialized care. It strives to answer the following questions: 

  • Can the onset of serious mental health issues (such as mood or psychotic disorders) among youth be identified early and therefore predicted?
  • Can access and references to specialized services be facilitated by training and specialized assessment tools? 
  • Is it possible to reduce the number of services used and optimize pathways to care?


Recruitment of study participants (youth and/or their family members) will begin soon, pending ethics approval.

A brochure will be available soon. 

Meet the Principal Investigator

Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, MD, PhD., is a practicing psychiatrist; he works with youth and families experiencing severe mental illnesses such as psychosis. Following his Bachelor’s degree in psychology, he completed his medical training at Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India followed by a Master’s and PhD in Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham in the UK. He currently holds the Monique H. Bourgeois Research Chair and directs the Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health at the Douglas Research Centre. He is also the Chief Editor of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology Journal. His work on neuroimaging in psychosis led to the Global Rising Star Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Early Career Foundation Grant. His research program is geared towards optimizing long-term mental health outcomes and pathways of care for individuals with serious mental disorders that often start in adolescence. His work centers on developing an understanding of the brain mechanisms involved in mental states such as psychosis and depression and in generating developmentally informed tools to predict outcome after first-episode psychosis and non-invasive treatment approaches.


You can reach him at


Lena Palaniyappan

Meet the Project Manager

Céline Villemus, M.Sc., studied Psychology and Epidemiology in France, where she got her Master’s degree. Having a real interest in child and youth development and mental health, she has developed her knowledge and skills in the field of early psychosis through her role as a Research Assistant in the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) at the Douglas and then as the SAR PEP (Rapid Learning Health System for Early Intervention Programs) Project Coordinator at the CHUM Research Center in Montreal. After 9 years in the field of first episode psychosis has extended her passion to the prevention of youth mental health with the CEYMH. 

You can reach her at

Photo Céline

Céline Villemus (she/her)

The Project Team

Dr. Lena Palaniyappan – Principal Investigator  (

Céline Villemus – BLOOM Project Manager

Melissa Palander – Clinical Specialist

Hani Abdelhafez – Clinical Specialist

Chelsea Cuffaro – Research Assistant, Lived Experience Initiatives

Lulwa Daou – Research Assistant, Youth Navigator

Forest Day de Larrañaga – Research Assistant, Youth Navigator

Martin Sellier Silva – Research Assistant, Youth Navigator

Sanie Varela – Research Assistant, Youth & Family Navigator

Kristin Davis – Operations Manager (CEYMH)

Our funders

Our partners