Mental Health and Addictions Research and Education

Health PEI Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Research and Education aims to advance knowledge and understanding of mental health and addictions to support top-tier, evidence-based Mental Health and Addictions Services.

MHA Research and Education is staffed with a director, research coordinator, nurse manager of clinical education, education associate, provincial clinical educators, and a program development coordinator. 

Researchers and educators work closely with clinical staff to ensure research is efficiently and accurately applied to inform clinical practice. This focus on the rapid application of research supports progressive, best-practice care aimed at improving outcomes for patients and families. 

What is the focus of MHA Research and Education?


MHA Research and Education is dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge to improve care for individuals seeking help for mental health and addictions. 

Collaborating with a network of researchers, clinicians, and persons with lived experiences, the team strives to advance science and practice, while prioritizing patients’ experiences and needs.


MHA Research and Education recognizes the importance of monitoring outcomes for all patient populations across all service areas. Evaluating services is crucial for providing better care. 

Our evaluation framework emphasizes mixed methods, focusing on quantitative data, such as program and service wait times, while underscoring qualitative feedback from patients, families, and front-line staff on lived experience within MHA programs and services.


Building capacity for research, knowledge exchange, multidisciplinary growth, and educational opportunities, internally and with affiliated academic institutions, is a priority.

MHA Research and Education supports evidence-based training for Mental Health and Addictions staff across the division. The education team oversees the provision of orientation and ongoing evidence-based training and education for all Mental Health and Addictions services staff in PEI. 

Establishing excellence in education means promoting interprofessional learning and continuing education for students and staff by providing ongoing professional development opportunities and onsite learning for trainees. 

MHA Research and Education is seeking the involvement of exceptional students in programs relevant to Mental Health and Addictions. Students will work closely with the director and staff to develop new projects or contribute to an ongoing project.  For information on student opportunities, please contact

MHA Provincial Research Committee

A provincial MHA research committee meets quarterly to discuss the latest research, review ongoing projects, and promote knowledge translation. 

Committee membership includes MHA Research and Education staff, the executive director of Mental Health and Addictions, as well as representatives from psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, and people with lived and/or living experiences of mental health and/or addiction.

Research and Education News


Selected Publications from the Mental Health and Addictions Education

Understanding Barriers to Treatment and Virtual Solutions in Addiction Services in PEI

MHA Research received funding from Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse (CRISM) to support a project titled Understanding Barriers to Treatment and Virtual Solutions in Addiction Services in PEI. The project team included MHA researchers, people with lived experience, and a clinician with lived experience.

People with lived experiences of substance use provided their experience and expertise to identify barriers to service access in PEI. The project team met several times with the goal to increase collaboration, support knowledge exchange on barriers to accessing Addiction Services in PEI and identify solutions.

The work resulted in:

  • a final live presentation to CRISM and Health PEI MHA;
  • increased awareness of barriers to treatment, virtual solutions, and the value and expertise that lived experience offers; and,
  • a compiled list of recommendations for Addiction Services that were shared with MHA leaders in PEI.

Understanding and Addressing Barriers to Service Access: A Collaborative Initiative was presented at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) Issues on Substance Conference in 2021.

View the poster for the summary of knowledge gained from projects aimed at uncovering barriers to services access for people with substance use issues in PEI. 


Give Back to the Community Program Bursary

McInnes Cooper’s Give Back to the Community Program, provided MHA with a $3000 bursary donation to support a leadership training program for a deserving MHA staff. Congratulations to the recipient, Sidnie Williams, Supervisor of Clinical Services at the Provincial Addiction Treatment Facility, Opioid Replacement therapy and Outpatient Withdrawal Management.

Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development and education are essential components of the future Community-First Mental Health and Addictions Island-wide service delivery model.

MHA Education is collaborating with Health PEI to deliver standardized behavioral crisis intervention training across all of PEI. 

The MHA Education Calendar prescribes over 75 core and supplementary evidence-based professional opportunities for MHA staff. View the calendar

For inquiries related to current or past projects and evaluations, contact 

Collaborating partners

MHA Research and Education works closely with a number of partner organizations and groups, including, but not limited to:




Please note: this web page is updated quarterly.


Published date: 
June 12, 2023
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