A Feasibility (Pilot) Study of an Innovative Non-pharmacological Intervention Program in at Risk Youth


Lawson Health Research Institute

Status and phase

Early Phase 1


At Risk Youth


Other: Youth Empowerment Seminar, YES!

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


At risk youth face various adversities including homelessness, social isolation, substance abuse and other mental illnesses. Thus far, the investigators have successfully partnered on programs of housing, social and recreational interventions in this population. The investigators now wish to assess the feasibility of delivery of an innovative bio-psycho-social intervention, Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!), developed by their partner, the not-for-profit Art of Living Foundation. Therefore, the aim of this research is to conduct a proof of concept study to determine the feasibility of a novel YES! program as an intervention for at risk youth.

Full description

STUDY DESIGN: The proposed is an open-label study with a mixed methods design. Research participants will be thirty youth between the ages of 16-25 years who are currently accessing any resource offered by Youth Opportunities Unlimited, London, ON. Youth will be enrolled in a rolling 8-week YES! Program repeated when adequate group size is achieved (>6 participants). Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected, which will allow for a detailed analysis of the feasibility of YES! as an intervention for youth at risk of homelessness. STUDY RECRUITMENT: Participants for this study will be recruited through the Youth Action Centre (YAC) of Youth Opportunity Unlimited (YOU), London. Participants will be between 16 and 25 years of age. As this is a pilot study, the investigators have set the sample size to n=30, which is in accordance with current standards for pilot studies. The investigators anticipate to recruit participants at a rate of at least 1 youth/week. Advertisements about the study will be placed throughout YAC (located in the YOU Cornerstone Building, 332 Richmond St., London, ON, N6A 3C3) and Theresa McLachlan, a staff member with YOU Transition Services will provide interested youth with additional information as required. There is no obligation for the youth to take part in the study; all participation is voluntary. SCREENING AND INITIAL ASSESSMENTS: Potential participants will be screened as per inclusion and exclusion criteria by trained research staff. Immediately prior to the start of the intervention trained raters will meet with participants to obtain demographic information and complete baseline measures of social inclusion, substance use and mental health. Specifically, the following scales will be administered: demographic, service and housing history community integration questionnaire Global Appraisal of Individual Needs- Substance Problem Scale (GAIN-SPS), (GAIN-SPS is a subscale of a biopsychosocial battery that has been designed for clinical and program evaluation and has been validated for use in individuals 11 years of age and older), and Colorado Symptom Index.


39 patients




16 to 25 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Between 16-25 years of age
  • Currently precariously housed and accessing resources offered by Youth Opportunities Unlimited
  • Have sufficient hearing to be able to follow verbal instructions and able to sit without physical discomfort for 30 minutes
  • Willing and able to attend 4 initial YES! training sessions and at least 5 of weekly follow up sessions.
  • Willing to dedicate 20 minutes/daily to SKY practice

Exclusion criteria

  • Currently participating in other similar studies
  • Currently practicing any type of formal meditation, mindfulness or breathing techniques regularly.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

39 participants in 1 patient group

Youth Empowerment Seminar, YES!
Other group
An 8-week innovative bio-psycho-social program (Youth Empowerment Seminar, YES!) will be offered to at risk youth participating in programs or resources offered by Youth Opportunities Unlimited. The YES! program will be taught in two phases: (1) an active learning phase which consists of four consecutive days (3 hrs/day) of SEL skills taught in a multi-modality interactive format as well as SKY training, and (2) a reinforcement phase which involves weekly follow up sessions (75-90 mins each) for the 7 weeks following the active phase. Two certified instructors from the Art of Living Foundation (Spencer Delisle and Mark Frye) will deliver this training under supervision of Ronnie Newman (RN). After the initial 4 day training, participants will be asked to practice SKY daily for 20-25 minutes in addition to attending the weekly follow up sessions.
Other: Youth Empowerment Seminar, YES!

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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