Mobilizing Minds: Integrated knowledge translation and youth engagement in the development of mental health information resources

Main Article Content

Christine A Garinger
Kristin A Reynolds
John R Walker
Emma Firsten-Kaufman
Alicia S Raimundo
Pauline C Fogarty
Mark W Leonhart
Mobilizing Minds Research Group


High rates of highly persistent mental health problems can have significantly damaging effects on young adults’ lives, and young adults are less likely to seek treatment for such problems. This article describes a unique Canadian knowledge translation project called Mobilizing Minds: Pathways to Young Adult Mental Health, which aimed to impact not only the mental health literacy of young adults, but to engage young adults in the entire research process from inception to dissemination of results. Knowledge translation is a process that involves producing and assessing the quality of the knowledge to be translated and tailoring the knowledge to be user friendly for particular segments of the population. The article gives particular attention to the ways in which the Mobilizing Minds project was influenced by youth engagement. We discuss three aspects: 1) structures, processes and communication; 2) project products; and 3) challenges and responses. Lessons learned specific to intergenerational collaboration will be of interest to youth as consumers of mental health information and services, mental health practitioners, researchers, and decision-makers seeking to improve mental health at a systemic level.

Keywords: knowledge translation, young adult, mental health, participatory research, youth engagement, youth-adult partnerships

Article Details

Practice-based articles (Non-refereed)
Author Biographies

Christine A Garinger, mindyourmind, a program of Family Services Thames Valley

Christine Garinger is a Registered Nurse and holds a Masters Degree in Health Information Science from Western University. She is the Research and Evaluation Lead at mindyourmind, a youth engagement, youth mental health program and is part of the Clinical team.

Kristin A Reynolds, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Kristin A. Reynolds, M. A., is a Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She is especially interested in research in the areas of knowledge translation of health information, and prevalence rates of mental health problems and mental health service use across the adult lifespan.

John R Walker, Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

John R. Walker, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at University of Manitoba. He is active in research, particularly in the areas of anxiety disorders, epidemiology of anxiety and depression, coping with illness, and knowledge translation.

Emma Firsten-Kaufman, Mobilizing Minds Project Coordinator

Emma Firsten-Kaufman holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Toronto focused on health promotion. She is a Knowledge Broker in the Provincial System Support Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Alicia S Raimundo, Mobilizing Minds Research Group, Canada

Alicia Raimundo holds an BA in honours psychology and business and is a mental health advocate who sat on Mobilizing minds leadership team.

Pauline C Fogarty, Therapeutic Recreation Program, Confederation College, Thunder Bay Ontario

Pauline Fogarty is a Registered Social Worker who specializes in Concurrent Disorders. She has an interest in Therapeutic Recreation as a means of promoting recovery.

Mark W Leonhart, Department of Clinical Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mark Leonhart is an M. A. student in clinical psychology at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. His research focuses on the role of responsibility beliefs in the maintenance of OCD symptomatology. Clinically, he is interested in the prevention of and interventions for mood and anxiety disorders, with particular interest in young adult mental health.

Mobilizing Minds Research Group, Mobilizing Minds Research Group, Canada

Members of the Mobilizing Minds Research Group (Mobilizing Minds: Pathways to
Young Adult Mental Health, include the following (in alphabetical
order): young adult partners: Chris Amini, Amanda Aziz, Meagan DeJong, Pauline Fogarty,
Mark Leonhart, Alicia Raimundo, Kristin Reynolds, Allan Sielski, Tarannum Syed, Alex
Yaeger; community partners: Maria Luisa Contursi, Christine Garinger and Heather MikoKelly
from mindyourmind (; and research partners: Lynne Angus, Charles
E. Cunningham, John D. Eastwood, Jack Ferrari, Patricia Furer, Madalyn Marcus, Jennifer
McPhee, Monica Nunes, David Phipps, Linda Rose-Krasnor, Kim Ryan-Nicholls, Richard
Swinson, Jennifer Volk, John R. Walker, Henny Westra, and Bradley Zacharias.