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The CLC research portfolio includes people with lived expertise related to navigating mental health and/or substance use challenges, people with professional expertise, and people with both perspectives who are committed to co-producing equitable and inclusive research.

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Historically, research in mental health and addiction has relegated people with lived expertise to the position of research subjects rather than recognizing them as leaders and partners in research. However, the field is shifting to engage people with lived experience as active and equal collaborators in research. Our work supports this shift by drawing researchers’ attention to the ongoing challenges related to engagement, representation, tokenism, and power in research. We promote equitable and collaborative research methodologies that support self-determination, epistemic justice, and lived experience leadership.

There are two teams that comprise this research portfolio.

Our Recovery, Our Outcomes Team

In 2020, we received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to conduct research on Recovery Colleges (RCs). The project, called “Our Recovery, Our Outcomes: Co-Producing an Evaluation of Recovery Colleges,” brought together researchers and people with lived experience to study evaluation strategies for RCs. This project had two phases: Phase one involved a literature review on RC evaluation (Lin et al., 2023). Phase two included interviews with 29 people who access, volunteer, or work with RCs in Canada. The interviews explored what people thought was important about RCs and their views on how best to evaluate them (Harris et al., 2023; Soklaridis et al., 2023). This research provided a foundation for RC research at CAMH.

CLC Research Subcommittee

The CLC Research Subcommittee facilitates and drives the strategic directions for RC research at CAMH by engaging the CLC community, exploring the mental health literature and leveraging members’ diverse areas of expertise. The subcommittee has several aims:

  • To guide research activities related to the CLC by engaging with the CLC community, the mental health literature, members’ lived/living expertise and their unique location within the mental health system
  • To create a space where people with learned and lived expertise can guide RC and CLC research in a collaborative way
  • To advise other groups in the mental health community on matters relating to RC, and CLC research and on cross-cutting issues of interest to the subcommittee

To learn more about the members of our teams please see the following link: Meet Our Members!

Our Selected Works

Soklaridis, S., Harris, H., Shier, R., Rovet, J., Black, G., Bellissimo, G., Gruszecki, S., Lin, E., & Di Giandomenico, A. (2024). A balancing act: navigating the nuances of co-production in mental health research. Research Involvement and Engagement, 10(1), 30. 

Harris, H., Shier, R., Black, G., Di Giandomenico, A., Lin, E., Bellissimo, G., Rovet, J., Gruszecki, S. & Soklaridis, S. (2023). Finding connection “while everything is going to crap”: Experiences in Recovery Colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research Involvement and Engagement, 9(1), 77.

Lin. E., Harris, H., Black, G., Bellissimo, G., Di Giandomenico, A., Rodak, T., Costa-Dookhan K.A., Shier, R., Rovet, J., Gruszecki, S. & Soklaridis, S (2022). Evaluating Recovery Colleges: A co -created scoping review. Journal of Mental Health. 1–22.

Lin, E., Harris, H., Gruszecki, S., Costa-Dookhan, K. A., Rodak, T., Sockalingam, S. & Soklaridis, S. (2022). Developing an evaluation framework for assessing the impact of recovery colleges: Protocol for a participatory stakeholder engagement process and cocreated scoping review. BMJ Open, 12(3), 1–6.

Soklaridis, S., Harris, H., Gruszecki, S., Bellissimo, G., Shier, R., Di Giandomenico, A., Rovet, J., Black, G. & Lin, E. (2023). Fidelity and adaptation: Reflections on recovery colleges globally. Lancet Psychiatry, 10(10), 736–737.

Soklaridis, S., Shier, R., Black, G., Bellissimo, G., Di Giandomenico, A., Gruszecki, S., Lin, E., Rovet, J. & Harris, H. (2023). “My words matter”: Perspectives on evaluation from people who access and work in recovery colleges. Mental Health and Social Inclusion.

Research Opportunity Spotlight

The Research Opportunity Spotlight presents studies that are in the recruitment or planning phase and that are consistent with the values of our CLC community and the RC philosophy. These studies are led by or engage people with lived experience. They are RC-focused, personal recovery–oriented and rooted in the needs of the populations being researched. The Research Opportunity Spotlight showcases opportunities to join research teams or participate in studies. The CLC Research Subcommittee has conscientiously developed this process to establish connections between research initiatives and the CLC, ensuring that it serves as a platform for those interested without turning the CLC into a recruitment pool.

To apply to have your study featured on the Research Opportunity Spotlight, please complete the following form:

The CLC has no formal affiliation to these studies unless stated otherwise. Participation is voluntary—there is no expectation that people who access the CLC get involved in research. Your participation will not influence your engagement or participation with the CLC.

If you are interested in other opportunities to participate in research at CAMH, please visit Research Connect. If you would like to join a research team as a Lived Experience Advisor at CAMH, please contact Melissa Hiebert, the CAMH Patient Engagement in Research Coordinator, at

Learn more about the research opportunity spotlight process.