Award Recipient

Jelena Komanchuk

Lundbeck Canada Mental Health Nursing Award

For many years I have been interested in the health and wellness of individuals experiencing vulnerability and chose a nursing career to attain the skills and knowledge to participate in health promotion initiatives. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing degree, I obtained employment in pediatrics and in a neonatal intensive care unit. In these environments, I witnessed the effects of family violence, substance abuse, and other toxic stressors on the growth, development, and mental health of infants and children. I became impassioned about the health trajectories of children in foster care after observing significant developmental disparities compared to their same-aged peers.

These experiences encouraged me to pursue a Master of Nursing degree, to focus on early interventions for children in foster care. For my thesis, I am examining what factors affect the efficacy of a developmentally supportive program for preschool-aged children in foster care. I am incredibly grateful to the Canadian Nurses Foundation for this generous award. This award will assist me with advancing knowledge on the growth, development, and mental health of children in foster care. This research has the potential to positively influence preventative health care initiatives and contribute to lifelong health improvements for children in foster care.

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