About HRI Talks

HRI Talks are free public talks aimed at powering progress in mental health and addiction. These events will be held virtually, enabling people from across Canada to participate in important conversations about mental health, addiction, and the value of science in finding solutions to these public health crises.

At HRI Talks, we will share new ideas, discoveries, and studies that are helping to transform the mental health and addiction landscape in Canada and beyond. Speakers include scientists, clinicians, researchers, and people with lived and living expertise who are working to address some of our nation’s most pressing mental health and addiction challenges.

HRI Talks aim to connect people to the meaning and impact of research on our daily lives, sparking intriguing discussions about work that is underway right now to find solutions for people living with mental illness and addiction. Talks will be interactive and moderated, and questions from the public are welcome.

HRI Talks are for anyone who shares our vision: No life held back or cut short by mental illness or addiction.

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Upcoming Talk

Psychedelics as Medicine: Promises and Realities (HRI Talks, October 12, 2022)

Are you curious about psychedelics and their potential for improving mental health and substance use health? In this HRI Talk, we explore emerging evidence about the use of psychedelic therapies in the treatment of mental illness and addictions.

Our panelists will share findings from a comprehensive review of recent studies that examine a range of themes, including Indigenous perspectives, treatment outcomes, health and safety, and implications for public health and policy. This will be an interactive event, where you can ask questions of our expert panelists in real time.


Past Talks


Make Your Voice Heard…Digital Health Apps: What Works and What Doesn’t?
(June 23, 2022)

In this free public event, we seek your input on digital mental health and substance use health care. From mindfulness and meditation apps to gamified tools and virtual therapy programs, the objective of this event is to capture public input about what’s working and where improvements can be made. Together we aim to gain new perspectives on mental health and substance use health apps and digital tools.


The Story Science Tells: COVID-19, Addiction and Mental Health
(March 30, 2022)

In this HRI Talk, Dr. James MacKillop explores recent discoveries about COVID-19, mental health and substance use, including drinking and cannabis use. He shares evidence of resilience and findings that can guide resource allocation to help people living with mental illness and addiction. This is a free, public event. A moderated discussion will be followed by a live Q&A with audience members.

Mysteries of the Microbiome: Exploring the Gut-Brain Connection (January 26, 2022)

In this free public talk, microbial ecologist Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe introduces us to the mysteries of the microbiome and the many roles that microbes play in human health. Drawing from her own work and recent literature, she shares emerging knowledge about the fascinating connection between microbiome health and brain patterning, mood and human behaviour.


Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment in Canada: Are People Getting Better? (November 3, 2021)

In this HRI Talks event, Rita Notarandrea (CCSA), Dr. Kim Corace (The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre), Dr. Jean Costello (HRI) and Dr. Brian Rush (HRI) discuss the value of measuring treatment progress and long-term outcomes for people using mental health and substance use services. We discuss how progress-monitoring systems enable timely improvements to treatment. Finally, we share news about exciting work already underway to advance these efforts in Ontario and answer questions from the audience.

Trauma: The Next Pandemic? (September 14, 2021)

In this HRI Talks event, Dr. Margaret McKinnon and Dr. Alexandra Heber explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare workers, first responders, and public safety workers. We share insights from new research and discuss projects underway to provide better help for those impacted by trauma and moral injury during the pandemic. A recording of the event is available.


Get the latest news about our mental health and addiction research.