CEYMH Youth & Family Councils

In recent years, the involvement of service users and their families has become an essential component in the pursuit of excellence in both research and the improvement of mental health care. Science has demonstrated the value of the contribution of service users and their families. 

The Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (CEYMH) values and is committed to the meaningful inclusion of youth, particularly those with lived and living experience of mental health problems, and/or receiving mental health services in co-designing research, practices, and policies. The CEYMH also values the involvement of families/carers with lived and living experience of supporting loved ones with mental health problems. Depending on the preferences of youth and families, and the research project or initiative’s needs, there are various avenues for such inclusion: choosing research questions and tools, helping disseminate findings and so on.  

The Advisory Councils' Work

The Youth and Family Councils have had the opportunity to collaborate and be involved in various projects and initiatives.

CEYMH’s BLOOM Research Program Engagement
  • The Councils were involved in creating leaflets and posters for recruitment, tested questionnaires and platforms for the study, and provided feedback on workshops offered to participants.


  • One youth partner met with the research team regularly to work on demographic-sensitive questions, an executive summary of the program, and they were present for all interviews to hire new research assistants for the program.
Quebec Program for Mental Disorders
  • The Councils contributed their opinions on a stepped care model of services dedicated to answering the mental health needs of people in Québec in a timely manner.
First Line Access
  • The Councils met with the project team on several occasions to provide their opinions on improving access to first-line services in Québec.
Youth Mental Health Research
  • The Councils collaborated on a research project led by Douglas clinician-researcher Dr. Orri which focused on co-occurring physical and mental health disorders.

Looking forward, the CEYMH Advisory Councils hope to continue to build partnerships with organizations, clinical teams, and research groups that value lived experience input. Furthermore, the CEYMH is hoping to put together a Dad Advisory Council. In the mental health care system, fathers and father figures are often the second primary caregivers and may not feel heard if they are in the same groups as moms. Finally, we hope to continue working to diversify each of our councils and ensure they are representative of all identities and experiences.

Participation in Youth & Family Advisory Councils

The following document aims to provide a monetary compensation grid for young people and family members in return for their contribution as stakeholders in research projects of the CEYMH. It is based, among other things, on the principles and grids presented in the document from the SRAP Unit (Patient-Oriented Research Strategy) entitled Principes directeurs-dédommagement financier pour la recherche en partenariat avec les patients et le public, the advisory group for partnership with the public in Quebec, and guidelines provided by the Centre d’excellence en partenariat avec les patients et le public (CEPPP). 

Politique de compensation-compensation policy CESMJ-CEYMH_v2

Adolescent Council (~12-17 yrs)

Youth Council (~18-26 yrs)

Loved Ones Council

Become a member of our Councils

We are actively recruiting loved ones and dads for our councils! 

If you are interested in joining the councils, please fill out our questionnaire so we can get to know you better and arrange a meeting.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Consultation Meetings for Researchers

We have designed a form that allows eligible researchers to request a consultation meeting with Youth & Family Advisory Councils to obtain the opinion of service users or their caregivers. To benefit from their expertise, all you have to do is provide us with a few details by filling in the following form.

The CEYMH is committed to ensuring that the involvement of its council members is fully recognized. That’s why we have adopted a compensation policy based on best practices. Furthermore, to ensure optimal contribution to your projects, we have decided to limit the size of our councils so that each member can have their say. Although we are willing to accommodate our partners according to their needs, we cannot guarantee that we will accede to all requests. In addition, a member of your team must be present for each meeting, alongside our facilitator.

Each application will be evaluated to determine whether the researcher’s needs match those of our lived experience partners. For any questions, please reach to info@ceymh-cesmj.ca

Meet our Facilitators

Charles-Albert lives with a mental health disorder and has been actively involved in the mental health community as a patient partner and peer helper for many years. He is also an activist in his spare time. His mandate is to give a voice to people who, like him in the past, will be called to improve mental health care based on their personal experience. You can reach him at: charles-albert.morin@douglas.mcgill.ca. 

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Charles-Albert Morin (he/him)


Chelsea Cuffaro (she/her)


Chelsea is a passionate mental health advocate who strives to amplify the voices of those who are often misunderstood or struggle in silence. Her ability to deeply connect with others and meet them where they are at in their journey stems from her own lived experience with a mental health disorder. To that end, she hopes to work as a clinician-researcher who aims to address the systemic barriers to accessing care and the unmet needs of youth. You can contact her at: chelsea.cuffaro.comtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca.