Mario Cappelli

Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

Dr. Mario Cappelli is a Child Clinical Psychologist and a Clinician-Scientists working with children, youth, young adults and their families. He is currently the Senior Clinician Scientist at the Knowledge Institute for Child and Youth Mental Health and Addiction, an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Cappelli’s research focus is how to best identify mental health and addiction needs and to match these needs to mental health services to children and youth in an effective and integrated way. He is the principal developer of the HEADS-ED tool which is widely to help screen mental health and addiction needs of young people and guide their care. His current research includes how to manage child and youth who are in crisis and present to Emergency Departments; and how to improve the integration of services between primary care, hospital, and community-based child and youth mental health and addiction services.

Research Projects

  1. A Primary Care Mental Health Pathway for Children and Youth: A Mental Health Services Quality Improvement Initiative in Ontario


  2. Building Resilience and Attachment in Vulnerable Adolescents: A Pilot Trial of a Brief Group Intervention for Adolescents with Mild to Moderate Suicidal Ideation and their Caregivers


    Study results demonstrate that the BRAVA intervention has the potential to reduce SI among adolescents who present to hospital services in crisis. Further studies are required to establish BRAVA's efficacy in a randomized controlled trial.

  3. Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic: The sociodemographic and mental health factors associated with maternal caregiver strain


    Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new stressors for parents (“caregivers”) that may affect their own and their child’s mental health (MH). We explored self-reported levels of caregiver strain (parents’ perceived ability to meet parenting demands), and the MH and sociodemographic factors of caregivers to identify predictors of strain that can be used to guide MH service delivery for families.

  4. What’s the harm in asking? A systematic review and meta-analysis on the risks of asking about suicide-related behaviors and self-harm with quality appraisal


    Unfortunately, misperceptions of harm remain which can compromise clinical care, research, and public health surveillance efforts. Our objective was to evaluate the empirical evidence on whether and how asking about suicide related behaviors (SRB), such as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) results in harmful outcomes.

  5. The HEADS-ED: Evaluating the Clinical Use of a Brief, Action-Oriented, Pediatric Mental Health Screening Tool


    Results support the HEADS-ED's use by PED physicians to help guide the assessment and referral process and for discussing the clinical needs of patients among health care providers using a common action-oriented language.