Award Recipient

Gina Lavallee

New Brunswick Nursing Award

I have always had an interest in healthcare and a passion for working with people in meaningful ways, thus explaining my desire to pursue a career in nursing. The past 6 years have provided me a chance to work in various mental health settings as a nurse, and although I have been amazed by the strength and resiliency of the patients and their families, there remains an important lack of mental health services. I have also been frustrated by the stigma and marginalization surrounding mental health and how these societal created perceptions have restricted important opportunities for the health and wellbeing of many – including youth who are affected by mental illness.

I am passionate about enhancing health trajectories for youth experiencing mental health difficulties. This lead me to purse a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Health Science with a focus on mental health, health services and human resources surrounding youth related mental health. The knowledge and experience gained from this degree will help to theorize, hypothesize, and critically examine current mental health nursing practices. The main goal remains allowing youth to speak in order to create a better understanding of the current mental health platform and determine whether improvements are warranted. Also, it is hoped that this study will make it possible to target concrete recommendations in order to respond to the health challenges specific to individuals, communities and nurses roles in providing youth centered mental care in NB.

I thank the Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) for granting me this award to support my ongoing studies.

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