Research Focus

Overview

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Our research team is committed to conducting both applied and basic research addressing issues of mental health resilience in students of all ages. We focus on issues related to mental health in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educational settings by examining emotion regulatory difficulties, stress, coping, mindfulness, and non-suicidal self-injury. We are very committed to outreach and support of youth/young adults who are struggling; to this end, our team provides workshops and online outreach and training around issues related to students’ mental health and wellness at every age. We commonly use participatory action research approaches, working together as equals with community-based partners and those with lived experience of mental health challenges and/or self-injury.

Current Projects

Education for Mental Health Resilience (EMHR)


The Education for Mental Health Resilience (EMHR) is an ongoing, five-year, large scale research project being executed concurrently at McGill University and across Asia. The DAIR team coordinates this Faculty of Education initiative. The goal of this research project is to develop and evaluate a program aimed at providing youth and young adults with evidence-based strategies for improved mental health resilience so that they can thrive in difficult or demanding circumstances, as well as to provide wellness training to educators, caregivers, advisors, and others who work with student populations.




Regulating Emotions and Stress in pre-Service Teachers (RESST)


The Regulating Emotions and Stress in pre-Service Teachers (RESST) program is a resilience-building program for pre-service teachers in Bachelor of Education programs for use across Canada. The aim of this research project is to develop, pilot, and evaluate the RESST, which has been made possible with generous funding from the Rossy Foundation. The RESST program aims to enhance well-being in pre-service teachers and provide them with the skills to support their wellbeing, by providing strategies that help build effectives coping for use in the classroom. The program includes four core sessions built on a foundation of emotion regulation and mindfulness.




Program for Undergraduate Resilience in Engineering (PURE)


The Program for Undergraduate Resilience in Engineering (PURE), funded by the Rossy Foundation and the Student Wellness Hub of McGill University’s Student Services, is an entirely online resilience-building program tailored to undergraduate engineering students’ context and needs. The goal of this research project is to develop, pilot, and evaluate the PURE. The PURE comprises a self-assessment which automatically generates resource recommendations based on level of need, as well as a website containing a variety of resources including interactive infographics, virtual workshop recordings, guided audios for strategy practice, and more. Visit the program website at www.engineeringresilience.ca!




Stress and Coping: Online Outreach Program (SCOOP)


The Stress and Coping: Online Outreach Program (SCOOP) was developed, piloted, and evaluated with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The SCOOP is an online resilience-building program for university students which consists of audio recordings, podcasts, infographics and two video series to provide skills-training and guided practice addressing four critical areas of resilience-building: a) dealing with stress, (b) decreasing self-criticism, (c) improving self-care and help-seeking, and (d) enhancing social connections and support. The project followed a Participatory Action Research model where a team of researchers, student service users, decision makers, and mental health professionals worked together to develop program materials and make all project-related decisions. Visit the program website at www.stressandcoping.ca!




Online Mental Health for Adolescents (OMHA)


The Online Mental Health for Adolescents (OMHA) research project is a partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Mental Health of Quebec funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). OMHA aims to to develop, evaluate, and disseminate an evidenced-based, best-practice bilingual infographic guide to support school mental health professionals in their selection of online mental health resources for adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.




Educators' Experience of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Elementary Schools


In Collaboration with Dr. Elana Bloom (Psychologist) and Dr. Imke Baetens, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a university in Brussels, this research project seeks to understand elementary school teachers’ experiences with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; i.e., self-cutting, burning, etc) among their students. Findings from this research study on the scope and nature of NSSI will help us to develop and provide professional development and resources for teachers in this area.




Supporting Older Adults’ Stress Management during COVID-19


McGill’s Faculty of Education obtained a donation to create and disseminate an evidence-based stress management resource to support older adults in coping with the stress associated with COVID-19. A bilingual resource was developed and freely disseminated to organizations and residences in Quebec.