Change in Mind Canada Cohort Sites

As part of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities initiative Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities, 10 U.S. members of the Alliance and the five following non-governmental organizations in Alberta, Canada were chosen to infuse, align, and accelerate established neuroscience discoveries about the effects of life-altering toxic stress into their community-based work.

It is the goal that their work will determine if this groundbreaking science can transform policies to move the needle on some of the most difficult social issues facing our communities.

CASA Child, Adolescent, and Family Mental Health in Edmonton, Alberta

Details of Using Brain Science to Understand Complex Needs and Build a Culture of Health and Resiliency:

  • Implement organization-wide use of the adverse childhood experiences (ACE) questionnaire and childhood adversity narrative, and evaluate its utility in guiding assessment and treatment and in understanding outcomes
  • Based on the ecological model for health, combine data from ACE questionnaires, patient and family diagnoses and demographics, and service utilization data in order to inform policy and decision making

Systems Focus: Mental Health, health, education, and human services

CUPS Health, Education, Housing in Calgary, Alberta

Details of CUPS Health, Education, Housing:

  • Integrate the findings from the ACE study into all CUPS programs as well as organizational culture
  • Identify the natural overlaps and develop integrated policy and fiscal changes among Alberta Human Services, Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Education Systems

Systems Focus: Child welfare, mental health, health, substance abuse, economic self-sufficiency, and early education

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Calgary and Area in Calgary, Alberta

Details of Extending Influence to Elevate Brain Science:

  • Deeply integrate brain science research into their programs and practices, particularly through quality specialized training for volunteer mentors, mentoring coordinators, volunteer engagement workers, client engagement workers and participating children, youth and families
  • Enhance existing practices for the recruitment, screening, training and monitoring of mentors and mentoring relationships and develop significant new strategies for improving and expanding program reach
  • Draw on the strengths of strong existing partnerships and connections to share the research among expansive networks and in order to initiate the process to advance systemic change

Systems Focus: Youth development, early education, K-12 education, and workforce

Boyle McCauley Health Centre in Edmonton, Alberta

Details of BMHC Brain Science:

  • Utilize BMHC’s internal cross-disciplinary learning environment to ensure that messages around current practices and brain science are explicit and ready to mobilize
  • Use analyses of aggregated clinic data combined with ACEs data and work from the brain science cohort to crystalize messages by focusing on evidence that is closer to home; use the dataset to improve the quality of collaboration with other agencies to expand understanding the implications of ACEs and brain development in the community for our clients and to create momentum in the direction of cross ministerial policy change
  • Continue to build momentum in the community and build support for change at the ministry level; use learnings from the community and the cohort to develop a clear message and list of needed system changes in order to affect change for people affected by ACEs at the national and international level
  • Continue to use current BMHC data to support and clarify messages

Systems Focus: Health, substance abuse, housing, juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, and adult corrections

Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary, Alberta

Details of Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre:

  • Integrate brain science research into the standard training curriculum provided to the organization’s staff
  • In collaboration with other organizations, develop a training institute that would include brain science in its curriculum and provide training to professionals within and outside the province
  • Ensure brain science research informs the practice and policies at the provincial level to support trauma-informed decision making; in partnership with the Alberta Ministries of Health, Human Services, Education, and Justice & Solicitor General and the two other Child Advocacy Centres in Alberta, enhance and implement an integrated Multi-Disciplinary Team approach, supporting coordinated, streamlined practice in child abuse throughout the province
  • Promote and develop national standards/guidelines for Child Advocacy Centres

Systems Focus: Workforce, child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, adult corrections, and economic self-sufficiency

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