Close to $2 million invested to fund Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health: Reducing social inequities and improving mental health

The CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) is investing nearly $2 million in the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health: A CIHR Centre for Research Development at Simon Fraser University. Researchers affiliated with the Centre are Principal Investigator Dr. Marina Morrow, and Co- Principal Investigators Dr. Howard Chodos and Dr. Elliot Goldner of Simon Fraser University.

“Social inequities and mental health issues significantly affect the health of women, men, girls and boys. Effective intervention is needed in areas including mental health reform, recovery and housing, violence, and substance use,” says Dr. Joy Johnson, IGH Scientific Director.

The Centre uses innovative research, knowledge exchange, and training activities to improve the understanding of why social disparities exist and to develop interventions. By involving researchers, policy makers, community leaders and other knowledge users, the Centre strives to increase research capacity to ultimately improve relevant programs and policies.

"Through the support of innovative research, knowledge exchange, and training activities, the Centre for Research on Gender and Social Disparities in Mental Health and Addictions aims to create a better understanding of why disparities in mental health and addictions outcomes persist so that appropriate programs, policies, and interventions can be developed and implemented, ultimately leading to improved mental health for women and men, girls and boys in Canada and internationally," says Dr. Morrow.

The Centre will foster relationships among groups of academic and community researchers, community service providers, policy makers, practitioners, advocates, and those who have experience with mental illness from across Canada, the US, UK, and Australia. The Centre will explore the use of gender and sex-based analysis tools and other relevant methods in the following five key theme areas: mental health reform, recovery and housing, reproductive mental health, violence, mental health, and substance use. The Centre will also look at mental health and substance abuse issues within the criminal justice system.

In addition, through its partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Centre will develop mechanisms for sharing research findings emerging from the Centre with regional, provincial, national, and international governments, service providers, researchers, and the general public to facilitate access to information about gender and social disparities in mental health and addictions.

Dr. Marina Morrow is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. She is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health and co-director of the Institute for Critical Studies in Gender and Health at SFU.

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