VISEV stands for Vulnerability, Social Integration and Violence; Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. With financial support from the Fonds de recherche sur la santé et la culture, the research team emerged from a desire to bring together, through an interdisciplinary approach, social, legal and clinical expertise in order to develop a research program around social integration of people with challenging behaviors.


Social integration of people with severe mental health problems (schizophrenia and associated disorders, bipolar disorders, major depression) or other developmental disorders (intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders) have raised several concerns in Quebec and elsewhere in the world.

Challenging behaviors are one of the main obstacles to sustainable social integration and long-term recovery for these populations. Compartmentalization between different sectors (social and health services network and civil and criminal justice, for example) is often excessive.Interventions are therefore based on a piecemeal and instinctive approach rather than on scientific and solid conceptual foundations.

In terms of research, the VISEV Team is today the only interdisciplinary program meant to build bridges between psycho-socio-legal fields in regards to mental and developmental disorders. This is particularly true for research focused on people with challenging behaviors within vulnerable populations.


The VISEV grouping aims to:

  • analyze facilitators and obstacles to social integration among vulnerable persons with challenging behaviors
  • target best practices for these persons, their relatives and the general public
  • provide the various professionals with the appropriate tools in their daily work with vulnerable individuals


The team’s research program focuses on three main areas:

  1. Determinants of social integration
  2. Systems’ responses to challenging behaviors
  3. Bridging between research and practice


The main sought-after effect throughout the team’s program is to reduce the risk of excessive compartmentalization between health, social and legal services, with the aim of adapting practice to the needs of vulnerable persons.

The team expects notable fallouts in terms of scientific knowledge as much as on practice and local, national and international policies.


Jean-Philippe Gagnon, coordinator
Research Centre
Douglas Institute
Perry Pavilion,
Room E-4112
6875, boulevard LaSalle
Montréal (Quebec) H4H 1R3
Telephone : 514 761-6131, extension 3361