Ontario Newsroom

Two Students Receiving Scholarships for Mental Health Research

Archived News Release

Two Students Receiving Scholarships for Mental Health Research

Ontario’s Hilary M. Weston Scholarship Supporting Future Mental Health Leaders

Ontario is recognizing two graduate students with the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship for their outstanding efforts in the study of mental health.

Kathleen MacLaurin, a Masters of Social Work student at Carleton University and child welfare advocate, will receive the award for her research and advocacy for enhancing supports to children and adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and their caregivers. 

Julia Read, a PhD student in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University and addiction therapist, will receive the award for her research into how peer support and lived experiences affect the delivery of mental health and addictions services.  

Investing in students whose work will improve the lives of those living with mental illness is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The recipients were chosen by an independent selection committee in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to advancing mental health research.
  • The Ontario government created these scholarships in honour of Hilary M. Weston, the province's 26th Lieutenant Governor.
  • Each year, two students who are enrolled in full-time graduate programs at a publicly funded Ontario university receive the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship, worth $7,500 each, to support their studies.
  • Approximately 30 per cent of people in Ontario will experience a mental health and/or substance abuse challenge at some point in their lifetime, with one in 40 Ontarians experiencing a serious mental illness.
  • This year, Mental Health Week runs from May 1 – 7.

Additional Resources


“It’s critical that we continue to support social workers’ capacities to help people experiencing mental illness, and to improve mental health service delivery. I am pleased to recognize and support Kathleen and Julia’s dedication and research in each of their specialties.”

Hon. Hilary M. Weston

former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“These two impressive students should be celebrated for their dedication to improving the lives of others. They have both been motivated by powerful life experiences to make a positive impact in their fields. Innovative research like this will help us improve mental health treatment programs for all Ontarians.”

Laura Albanese

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration



Education and Training Health and Wellness