It has been said that there is “no health without mental health” and I could not agree more. During my work as a clinician in acute mental health, my interest in and appreciation for the importance of mental health grew, as did my belief that Canada’s mental health “system” was not functioning at an optimal level. I returned to school to pursue further training that would prepare me to work towards creating change in Canada’s approach to mental health and illness. Through my clinical practice, teaching and community-based research, I hope to enhance awareness and spark action leading to better mental health outcomes at a population level.
I am currently entering the fourth year of my PhD studies at the University of British Columbia, School of Nursing. During my doctoral research study, I worked with youth and adult stakeholders in a rural community to create, implement, and evaluate a youth-driven, evidence-informed mental health promotion initiative. I believe that programs developed to enhance mental health will be most effective when informed by their target populations; helping to ensure the design of responsive initiatives that resonate with service users, communities, and populations and lead to meaningful change or action.
I am appreciative for the support of the Canadian Nurses Foundation and the Dr. Ann C. Beckingham award, which provides an important source of support while I work towards my goals of contributing better understandings and approaches to support and respond to the mental health needs of Canada’s populations.