Longitudinal Survey:

The sample of COVID-related outcomes was a supplement added to OTRU’s Campaign on Commercial Tobacco Use and its Culture’s cohort of 1500 2SLGBTQI youth and young adults (ages 16-29) who have agreed to be re-contacted for additional studies (https://www.otru.org/studies/lgbtqtobacco.html for questionnaires and other details).

This study will leverage the existing network of partner organizations, community working groups and advisories including young adults. It will leverage the cohort infrastructure and add additional questions pertaining to COVID-19 and access to care at baseline and develop a special 1 year follow up to focus on COVID-related changes to mental health and substance use. The cohort, developed with base funding by PHAC, was created to assess substance use and mental health among 2SLGBTI youth and young adults in Ontario and Quebec, with a focus on commercial tobacco use.

Risk Prediction Model:

We will then develop a risk prediction model using baseline characteristics (demographics, geography, history of mental health and substance use, housing factors, community connectedness, experience with discrimination, sexual orientation, gender identities) to predict poor outcomes at the 1 year follow up. We develop separate models for each issue identified as a priority in.Potential priority issues (and model outcomes) could include meeting clinical criteria for validated scales for depression, anxiety, stress, suicidality and substance use disorders (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioids) at the 1 year follow up. This outcome corresponds to a binary classification task in the context of machine learning.

Design Charette Program:

36 youth/young adults representing a diversity of the Canadian gender and sexually diverse population will be engaged in the co-design of concrete adaptations to an existing mental health and substance use program that takes into account the unmet needs of GSD youth in Canada. This co-design will focus on virtual services offered by CAMH and other youth-focused organizations and will be accomplished using an innovative design charrette process. Through a series of intensive online sessions, youth/young adults will identify mental health and substance use challenges and factors that affect their ability to access care and make positive changes over time. From this, youth and young adults will engage in a structured process to develop and iteratively prototype ideas and produce a workable program design. We have previously successfully utilized an online design charette during COVID-19 (May 2020) to develop a youth vaping cessation app. A planning committee will be formed to design the program comprised of youth, young adults, and service providers Local design students identifying as GSD and allys from OCAD University, have been invited and contracted to engage with our participants in the design process and will collaborate on the planning committee. This process will be shared on our social media and website platforms. Recruiting is anticipated for May with the program expected to launch in June 2021.