The world can be a dark place for a child or adolescent with a mental illness and for the parents and families trying to support them.

Oct. 13, 2015

Dr. Paul Arnold (photo courtesy of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary)

According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 70 percent of mental disorders first appear before the age of 18, and 50 percent before age 14. Numbers suggest that 15 to 20 percent of children have a diagnosable mental illness but less than 20 percent will get the support they need.

Dr. Paul Arnold is hoping to change that.

Recently named the Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) Translational Health Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health, Dr. Arnold’ s research focuses on the role of genetics in childhood mental health. He is establishing the first neurogenetics laboratory in Alberta to specifically study the genetic origins of childhood mental illnesses.

Although stigma is still a factor in addressing mental illness, Dr. Arnold’s work will help shed some light on understanding and supporting the children who suffer from it. His work has the potential to predict risk factors and target treatments for mental health disorders in children and adolescents.

Dr. Arnold will lead the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the University of Calgary. The centre’s aim is to generate knowledge to improve our understanding of the brain mechanisms, risk factors and treatments of mental disorders, with a special emphasis on youth.

Read more:

Read more about Dr. Arnold’s funding:

  • The AIHS Translational Health Chair awards provide opportunities to recruit top researchers to Alberta to build translational capacity in priority health research and innovation areas.

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