November 27, 2019

MaryAnn Notarianni, Ontario Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health

Hosted by: OPEN – Research to Practice Hub  (CFECFW)

Date: 24 October 2019                          Location: Multicultural Hub



MaryAnn Notarianni leads the Ontario Centre for Excellence’s quality improvement and youth and family engagement services for Ontario’s community-based child and youth mental health sector. MaryAnn has spent 15 years working in mental health, public health policy and community development, leading initiatives in e-mental health, youth suicide prevention, indigenous health promotion and knowledge mobilization.

Josianne Fernandez co-presented with MaryAnn. She is a Youth Advisor at the Ontario Centre for Excellence and works directly with the Youth Advisory Council, as part of the YWHO team supporting youth engagement initiatives provincially and locally.

The Ontario Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health supports Ontario child and youth mental health agencies, communities and decision makers to help young people in our province develop in ways that expand their future opportunities and ensure lifelong mental health. The Centre’s core goals are to mobilize knowledge and improve quality across Ontario’s child and youth mental health sector.

Presentation – Overview

The meaningful engagement of youth and families can have significant positive impacts on service experience and outcomes in child and youth mental health. MaryAnn Notarianni and Josianne Fernandez shared the journey of the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health to advance youth and family engagement practices across the sector through co-developing quality standards and corresponding implementation and measurement tools.

This session provided an overview of the Ontario context for child and youth mental health, a brief history of building capacity for engagement in the province and reflections on emerging trends and opportunities. As improvements have been made in engagement practices programmatically and organizationally, massive system changes and practical challenges have created roadblocks for consistent, high-quality engagement, particularly at the system level.


Resources to review:

  • Presentation slides – ‘The Case for Quality’ – Click here
  • Quality Standard for youth and family engagementClick here for youth engagement and Click here for family engagement These were developed in partnership with youth, families, clinicians and researchers from all over Ontario to build common understanding and consistency in delivery of high-quality mental health service across the province. The standards are informed by evidence and have an accompanying measurement tool with indicators to show progress and outcomes.
  • Presentation slides – ‘Redefining excellence – The journey of the Ontario Centre for Excellence to mobilise knowledge and improve quality’ – Click here
  • The Ontario Centre for Excellence has an extensive resource library including the Resource Hub and Measures database.