Research Studies

We are currently conducting several studies on different aspects of depression and suicide risk. Read more about our currently active studies below:

Remote Mental Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recruitment ad for the Remote Mental Health Care during COVID-19 study
Project Leads: Dr. Sidney Kennedy, Amanda Ceniti

The ASR and the CAN-BIND Program have launched a national online survey project to gain insights into people’s experiences with remote mental health care (phone or video) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the physical distancing restrictions associated with the pandemic, many in-person mental health services have rapidly moved to a remote format (phone or video). We want to better understand the experience of that transition – from the perspective of both health care users and providers – and to understand barriers of using remote care.

We are looking to hear from two groups of people:

  1. Health care users: People aged 18+ across Canada who have been offered a remote mental health care appointment (phone or video) since March 1, 2020
  2. Health care providers: Psychiatrists and family physicians in Canada who provide mental health care

We want to hear from you whether you have or have not participated in remote care during this time.

Participation includes completing a 10-15 minute online survey. Participation in this study is anonymous and completely voluntary.

Findings from this study may help improve how clinicians deliver remote mental health care, both during the pandemic and going forward.

Upon completion of the survey, participants have the option to enter a random draw to win 1 of 5 $50 Amazon gift cards!

For more information and to participate in the survey, please visit the following links:

Health care user survey: http://oursurvey.ca/CANBIND-RemoteCareUser
Health care provider survey: http://oursurvey.ca/CANBIND-RemoteCareProvider


Brief-SfSL Psychotherapy Study

Recruitment ad for the Brief-SfSL Psychotherapy study
Project Lead: Dr. Sakina Rizvi
The current COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to poorer mental health, and made it more difficult to access services for suicide risk. There is an especially urgent need for support that can be offered remotely and rapidly across communities. To address this need, we are doing a research study on “Brief Skills for Safer Living” (Brief-SfSL), a single-session individual psychotherapy intervention for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts. This therapy will be provided by a psychotherapist via online videoconferencing. We will be testing whether the single session of Brief-SfSL has an effect on suicidal thoughts and mood during over 3 months. Please see the flyer for more information or contact the study coordinator at therapy@asrlife.ca.


Suicide Biomarker Study

Project Lead: Dr. Sakina Rizvi

The prevalence of suicide attempt among individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is about 20%. Risk for suicide attempt can be increased by many things such as negative life events, genetics, and changes in the way the body and brain function. It is most likely caused by a combination of several of these factors. Currently, we are conducting a study to identify biological risk factors for suicide attempt.

Please see the flyer for more information or contact Amanda at Amanda.Ceniti@unityhealth.to.


Depression & Concussion Study

Project Lead: Dr. Sidney Kennedy

It is known that those who have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI; also known as concussion) are at greater risk of depression and suicidality. However, there has been little research about how brain function differs in those with mTBI and depression, and there are no clear risk factors for development of depression and suicidality after mTBI. The goal of this study is to characterize the biological profile (e.g. brain activity, behavioural tests) of those with mTBI and depression, and identify factors that may predict risk of depression and suicidality following injury.

Please see the flyer for more information or contact Amanda at Amanda.Ceniti@unityhealth.to.