Srividya Iyer, PhD

As a researcher and service provider, Srividya is interested in youth mental health and early intervention, especially in the early phases of psychosis, in Canada and beyond. She is a researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, where she is supported by a Junior 1 Clinical-Research Scholar award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.

Her core interests underpin her role as Scientific-Clinical Director of ACCESS-Canada, a pan-Canadian network dedicated to improving the mental health outcomes of youths aged 11 to 25. ACCESS is the first project established under the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. ACCESS features prominently in Srividya’s larger program of research in youth mental health which is supported by a CIHR Foundation Scheme grant.

As ACCESS’s Scientific-Clinical Director, Srividya provides leadership to the development, implementation and evaluation of a transformation of youth mental health services. This transformation is achieved through the early identification of needs, rapid response to help-seeking and the provision of appropriate, individualized care at 12 participating sites in six provinces and one territory. These sites serve urban, semi-urban, rural, Indigenous, immigrant, ethnic minority and homeless youths as well as youths under state protection and youths involved in the criminal justice system. She also plays a central role in creating and sustaining a vibrant collaboration among youths, families, caregivers, service providers, researchers, policymakers, Indigenous communities and community organisations from across Canada.

Before taking on her ACCESS role, Srividya coordinated the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP), Canada’s leading clinical and research program for early psychosis. She continues to contribute to PEPP’s clinical and research activities.

Over the last several years, Srividya has been pursuing a cross-cultural longitudinal study of outcomes and family factors in first-episode psychosis that is funded by the National Institutes of Health. This study involves PEPP in Montreal and the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, a mental health NGO in Chennai, India. More recently, she has been involved in a Grand Challenges Canada- funded project that provides mental healthcare to youth via trained lay health workers, e-solutions, and multi-stakeholder engagement in India’s Kashmir valley, a region that has been through much strife.

In addition to a thematic focus on early intervention and youth mental health, Srividya’s program of research reflects her methodological interests in using multiple quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods; engaging diverse stakeholders; considering multiple perspectives; examining both processes and outcomes; and building sustainable, collaborative clinical and research capacity within community contexts.

As a clinician, Srividya gained assessment and treatment experience in India, in the United States, and in Canada. Her specific clinical interests are in cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, the design and delivery of mental health services and early intervention strategies (particularly for psychosis), community-oriented case management, clinical supervision and program leadership. She is also passionate about the mental health care of disadvantaged communities.

Srividya’s graduate students are pursuing research projects in post-traumatic growth and thriving following first-episode psychosis; perceptions among service users, families, service providers and policy makers of their relative responsibilities for meeting the support needs of people with mental health problems; early case identification approaches and their evaluation in youth mental health; and physical health outcomes in first-episode psychosis. She is interested in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, fellows and other trainees in lines of research that are related to her own.

Srividya completed her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at the University of Mumbai, India and went on to work as the sole psychologist in one of the world’s busiest public hospitals. She then pursued her doctoral training in psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of California, Los Angeles and her post-doctoral training at the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

srividya.iyer [at] douglas.mcgill.ca (email)


Selected Articles (underline signifies student)

Iyer, S.N., Jordan, G., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2015). Early intervention for psychosis: A Canadian perspective. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203 (5): 356:64

Iyer, S.N., Boksa, P., Shah, J., Lal, S., Joober, R., Marandola, G., Jordan, G., Doyle, M., & Malla, A.K.. (2015). Transforming youth mental health: A Canadian perspective. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine (Special Focus on Youth Mental Health: International Perspectives), 32 (1), 51-60.

Rho, A., Traicu, A., Lepage, M., Iyer, S.N., Malla, A., & Joober, R. (2015) Clinical and functional implications of a history of childhood ADHD in first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 165 (2-3):128-33

Levy, E., Traicu, A., Iyer, S.N., Malla, A., Joober, R. (2015). Psychotic disorders comorbid with ADHD: An important knowledge gap. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60 (3), S48-52

Lutgens, D., Iyer, S.N., Joober, R., Brown, T. G., Norman, R., Latimer, E., Schmitz, N., Baki, A. A., Abadi, S., & Malla, A. (2015). A five-year randomized parallel and blinded clinical trial of an extended specialized early intervention vs. regular care in the early phase of psychotic disorders: study protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 15:22

Iyer, S.N. & Malla, A. (2014). Early Intervention in Psychosis: Concepts, Current Knowledge and Future Directions. Santé Mentale au Quebec, 39 (2), 201-30.

Jordan, G., Lutgens, D., Joober, R., LePage, M., Iyer, S.N.*, & Malla, A.* (2014). The relative contribution of cognition and symptomatic remission to functional outcome following treatment of a first episode psychosis. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 75(6):e566-72. * Senior authors

Lutgens, D., Joober, R., Malla, A. & Iyer, S.N. (2014). The Impact of Caregiver Familiarity with Mental Disorders on Timing of Intervention in First Episode Psychosis. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. doi: 10.1111/eip.12121

Lutgens D, Lepage M, Iyer S.N., & Malla A (2014). Predictors of Cognition in First Episode Psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 152 (1), 164-169.

Jordan, G., Pope, M., Wallis, P. & Iyer, S.N. (2014). The Relationship between Openness to Experience and Willingness to Engage in Online Political Participation. Social Science and Computer Review. doi:10.1177/0894439314534590

Iyer, S.N., Banks, N., Roy, MA., Tibbo, P., Williams, R., Manchanda, R., Chue, P., & Malla, A.K. (2013). A qualitative study of experiences with and perceptions regarding long-acting antipsychotic injectable medications: Part I -Patient perspectives. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(5): 14S-22S

Iyer, S.N., Banks, N., Roy, M.A., Tibbo, P., Williams, R., Manchanda, R., Chue, P., & Malla, A.K. (2013). A qualitative study of experiences with and perceptions regarding long-acting antipsychotic injectable medications: Part II -Psychiatrist perspectives. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(5): 23S-29S

Manchanda, R., Chue, P., Malla, A.K., Tibbo, P., Roy, M.A., Williams, R., Iyer, S.N., & Banks, N.(2013). Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics: Evidence of Effectiveness and Utilization. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(5): 5S-13S

Malla, A.K., Tibbo, P., Chue, P., Levy, E., Manchanda, R., Teehan, M., Williams, R., Iyer, S.N., & Roy, MA. (2013). Long-acting injectable antipsychotic medications: Recommendations for clinicians. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(5): 30S-35S

Pruessner, M., Béchard-Evans, L., Boekestyn, L., Iyer, S.N., Pruessner, J., & Malla, A.K. (2013). Attenuated cortisol response to acute psychosocial stress in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 146 (1-3): 79-86

Iyer, S.N., Ramamurti, M., Jeyagurunathan, A., Rangaswamy, T., & Malla, A.K. (2011). An examination of patient identified goals for treatment in a first-episode program in Chennai, India. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 5(4):360-5

Iyer, S.N., Loohuis, H., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2011). Concerns reported by family members of individuals with first-episode psychosis. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 5(2):163-7

Pruessner, M., Iyer, S.N., Faridi, K., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2011). Stress and protective factors in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis, first-episode psychosis and healthy controls: A case control study. Schizophrenia Research,129(1):29-35

Iyer, S.N., Ramamurti, M., Rangaswamy, T., & Malla, A.K. (2010). Preliminary findings from a study of first-episode psychosis in Montréal, Canada and Chennai, India: Comparison of outcomes. Schizophrenia Research, 121(1-3), 227-233.

Béchard-Evans, L.*, Iyer, S.N., Lepage, M., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2010). Investigating cognitive deficits and symptomatology across pre-morbid adjustment patterns in first-episode psychosis. Psychological Medicine, 40, 749-59.

Vracotas, N.C., Iyer, S.N., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2010). The role of self-esteem in outcome in first-episode psychosis. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 58(1):41-6

Iyer, S.N., Boekestyn, L., Cassidy, C.M., King, S., Joober, R., & Malla, A.K. (2008). Signs and symptoms in the pre-psychotic phase: Description and implications for diagnostic trajectories. Psychological Medicine, 38, 1147-1156.

Iyer, S.N., Goldberg, K., & Malla, A.K. (2008). Sooner is better: The case for early intervention in psychosis. Schizophrenia Digest, 15(3), 15-16.

Iyer, S.N. (2007). Expanding the boundaries of psychology: International students in psychology graduate programs. International Psychology Bulletin, 11(4), 7-11.

Combs, D.R., Penn, D.L., Spaulding, W.D., Adams, S.D., Roberts, D.L., & Iyer, S.N. (2006). Graduate training in cognitive-behavioral therapy for psychosis: The approaches of three generations of clinical researchers. The Behavior Therapist, 29, 12-16.

Iyer, S.N., Rothmann, T.L., Vogler, J.E., & Spaulding, W.D. (2005). Evaluating outcomes of rehabilitation for severe mental illness. Rehabilitation Psychology, 50, 43-55.


Selected Book Chapters

Rothmann, T.L., Iyer, S.N., Peer, J.E., & Spaulding, W.D. (2006). Schizophrenia. In J.E. Fisher & W.T. O’Donohue (Eds.), Practitioner's guide to evidence-based psychotherapy (pp. 583-592). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.