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The Author

Jean-Pierre Valla is a research and clinical child psychiatrist who studied psychiatry and neurophysiology in Paris and research at Montreal’s McGill University.

He specialized in mental health epidemiology in children and adolescents and created Dominic.

While an associate professor in the University of Montreal department of psychiatry, he founded the research department at Montréal’s Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies and spent two years as a visiting professor in the department of child psychiatry at Columbia University (New York).

He initiated the Quebec child mental health survey that used Dominic to assess child mental health. He authored many scientific publications.


Dominic was designed as a self-administered scientific research and clinical screening tool to assess child and adolescent mental health.

The definition of diagnostic criteria by the DSM-III in 1980 led to the creation of questionnaires to gather standardized data on mental health.  Dominic illustrated diagnostics criteria so that children could understand, and supplemented them with images of resilience key aspects.  First introduced as a cartoon, Dominic evolved with the technology.

Its picture-based format combined with interactivity gives children an active role and focus their attention. The pictures and soundtrack are adapted to their cognitive skills. Taking Dominic requires only 10 to 15 minutes.