Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Focus on the Far North

A Queen’s University researcher is part of a team awarded $3 million from Movember for a project aimed at improving the mental health of Inuit, First Nation and Métis boys and men. The team from across Canada and elsewhere will see the development of eight new mental health programs in seven northern Indigenous communities.

Priscilla Ferrazzi (School of Rehabilitation Therapy) will provide insight into the role contemporary mental health rehabilitation can play in the development of an effective criminal justice response to people with mental health issues.

Priscilla Ferrazzi is working to bring mental health programs to the Far North.

“There are some pretty novel aspects to this project that work to address Indigenous mental health,” says Ms. Ferrazzi. “All of the partners in this project are going to contribute to the knowledge of mental health in the Far North and introduce some new and effective programs.”

Ms. Ferrazzi’s own research examines the potential for introducing the delivery of criminal court mental health initiatives in Nunavut, a territory where such initiatives don’t currently exist. During the course of her research, she has gathered and analyzed the experiences of justice personnel, health workers, members of community organizations and other community members. This knowledge will help move the Movember-funded Pathways to Mental Wellness for Indigenous Boys and Men project forward.

 “This funding from Movember is important because it acknowledges there is a need in northern Canada and also because it acknowledges the importance of culture and other factors for mental health there,” she says. “We need specialized researchers in the North who understand these factors.”

This project comprises a series of mental health programs for boys and men in collaboration with Indigenous and international circumpolar partners. Keys to success include reduced rates of suicide in Indigenous communities and reduced rates of substance abuse among Indigenous males.