One of Canada’s preeminent scientists in children’s mental health research receives prestigious award. Watch this video on Dr. Madigan's accomplishments, and this recording of the 2022 prize ceremony.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – October 20, 2022: The Royal is pleased to announce that Dr. Sheri Madigan of the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute is the 2022 winner of The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research. Annually, the prestigious Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research – sponsored jointly by the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada – is awarded to an outstanding mental health researcher enabling future exploration and discovery.
“I am honoured to be the recipient of the 2022 Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research,” said Madigan. “Throughout my career, I have focused considerable efforts on examining the social factors that shape children’s mental health, therefore addressing and responding to real-world issues and clinical concerns. Now more than ever, it is so important to use research as a catalyst for informing clinical care, as well as improving mental health and treatment outcomes for children. I am passionate about mobilizing this scientific knowledge to ensure it reaches vast audiences, including youth, parents, educators, policy-makers, judges, clinicians, health practitioners, and more. Through my ongoing research, I strive to continue shaping the future of mental health care and policy for children and their families, both nationally and internationally.”
Through a variety of partnerships with clinicians and community organizations, Madigan aims to bridge the gap between research and care with a special focus on the social environments and contexts that shape children’s mental health. By synthesizing existing data and conducting studies of her own, Madigan is seeking to uncover and better understand the root causes of mental health challenges in children, including parental mental health, pandemic impacts, experiences of adversity, and more. Madigan’s research also examines the resilience factors that buffer children from developing mental illness, such as receiving support from caregivers, teachers, or community members.
There is a growing need for access to mental health care for children and their families as wait lists continue to grow. In an effort to address this need, Madigan is working with clinicians, caregivers and youth stakeholders to create online psychoeducation modules to provide crucial support while children are waiting for treatment. With the support of interdisciplinary teams, Madigan’s ground-breaking research will help clinicians across the world develop actionable solutions for children and families with mental health needs.
“We are living in a crucial time: the global crisis of child and youth mental health must be addressed, and the need for effective and accessible mental health care is more prevalent than ever“, Dr. Florence Dzierszinski, president of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal and vice president of research at The Royal, said. “Through her visionary research and dynamic partnerships, Dr. Madigan has the potential to change the landscape of mental health care for children. Her research will continue to empower clinicians in creating tangible and evidence-based paths forward for children with mental health needs and their families, ultimately improving and streamlining treatment options and care outcomes. We are honoured to invest in her future research and look forward to furthering our understanding of how a child’s environment and experiences can impact their mental health.”
“Through her visionary research and dynamic partnerships, Dr. Madigan has the potential to change the landscape of mental health care for children." - Dr. Florence Dzierszinski
“The Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada is once again pleased to fund innovative mental health research that may not be funded through other granting mechanisms,” Dr. Christopher Carruthers, chair of the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada, said. “We note that Dr. Madigan exemplifies this, by using a full range of cutting-edge research approaches to find insights in many sources of data. This is the type of research that will change the way we think about mental health, especially among children and youth.”
The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen national prize provides $100,000 in funding to Canadian researchers who are under the age of 45 and who have demonstrated records of accomplishment in research, excellence in scientific rigour, innovative thinking, imagination, originality, and a clear ability to work in partnership with other disciplines and/or research teams that extend beyond the institution with which they are affiliated. The award was jointly established in 2015 by the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada.
The Royal is hosting a ceremony on Monday, December 5 at 2 p.m. EST (12 p.m. GMT) to present Dr. Madigan with The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research, and engage in an inspiring discussion about her work. Please visit this link to register, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.