Examination of Factors Influencing Mental Health and Suicidality

Principal Investigator: Dr. Clement Zai

Affiliation: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health / University of Toronto

Start Year: 2021

Mental illness is a major cause of disability in Canada, with suicide claiming over 4,000 lives each year, making it a serious public health problem. The causes of mental illness are complex with many risk and protective factors. We aim to study various potential risk and protective factors of mental illness in the CanPath population. The risk/protective factors include medication use, sleep, genetic variants, life events (such as COVID-19, stressful life events), physical activity, substance use. The mental health outcomes include depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal ideation. We will also examine whether these risk and protective factors have different effects between sexes and among different age groups. Our study will further include scanning for genetic factors that could give rise to mental illness and suicidality.