Regional leaders in research partner once again to further explore the influence of culture and gender on mental health
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – March 9, 2022: The Royal and Carleton University are proud to announce that the Culture and Gender Mental Health Research Chair has been renewed for a second term. Led by Dr. Kim Matheson, a professor in Carleton University’s Department of Neuroscience and senior scientist at the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal, this enables new exploration of the social determinants of mental health, with specific focus on health inequities in underserved communities.
“We are thrilled to renew this important research chair,” Dr. Florence Dzierszinski, president of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal and vice president of research, said. “We know that an individual’s culture and gender critically influences their mental health, however we still have so much to learn. In fact, we are keenly aware that without a solid understanding of how culture, gender and mental health intersect, we cannot take full advantage of the technological and pharmacological innovations available to us. We are proud to further solidify this partnership as it enables research that will break down barriers and help identify approaches that connect traditionally underserved communities with needed, inclusive and culturally-competent mental health care.”
“I’m very pleased and excited. I think it’s good for me, good for Carleton, the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research at The Royal and for the students involved,” said Matheson. “This phase of the research chair is more about capacity-building. It’s getting students engaged in relationship-building and understanding how to work together with Indigenous communities.”
Matheson works with researchers across Canada, First Nations communities and organizations, and the scientists with the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, to develop prevention approaches to promote mental health in a way that is tailored to the unique experiences of First Nations Peoples and underserved populations. Her primary research involves working with First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario to identify and implement community-led strategies to promote youth mental health, and serve a preventive role to diminish self-harm, substance use, and deaths by suicide. While these communities are in a constant state of crisis, dealing with ongoing youth suicide, they have not had the capacity to consider longer-term prevention strategies, nor do they receive the resources and funding to do so.
“The renewal of this research chair is another example of the successful community partnerships Carleton engages with to conduct leading research and shape the future,” said Rafik Goubran, Vice-President (Research and International) at Carleton University. “Kim Matheson’s research fits perfectly with Carleton’s commitment to enhancing wellness and mental health.”
About Carleton University
Carleton University was founded in 1942 to serve the community and educate returning World War II veterans. In the years since, Carleton has grown into one of the most resourceful and productive hubs of learning and growth. Consistently ranked as one of the best comprehensive universities in the country, Carleton is a research-intensive school with exciting programs and a strong community of more than 35,000 staff, faculty, and students.
About The Royal
The Royal is one of Canada’s foremost mental health care, teaching and research hospitals. Its mandate is simple: to help more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people living with complex and treatment-resistant mental illness. The Royal includes mental health centres in Ottawa and Brockville, community mental health services at Carlingwood Mall, and four satellite offices. The Royal’s Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic treats Canadian Forces, veterans and RCMP, and is the only OSI clinic within a specialized academic mental health centre. The University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Research at The Royal brings together leading clinicians, scientists and technology to investigate the brain circuitry linked to depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. With the launch of the world’s leading-edge technology in molecular imaging targeted solely to mental health research, The Royal is becoming an innovative powerhouse — putting the nation’s capital at the forefront of unlocking the secrets of the brain — the last frontier. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health raises funds that support The Royal’s work. The Royal places a sharp focus on awareness building through the You Know Who I Am campaign and public education initiatives such as Conversations at The Royal and Is It Just Me? Conversations about Youth Mental Health. For more information, please visit theroyal.ca.