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Ontario Recognizes Outstanding Mental Health Leaders

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Ontario Recognizes Outstanding Mental Health Leaders

Hilary M. Weston Scholarship Award given to Graduate Student Research

TORONTO — Ontario is recognizing two graduate students with the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship for their outstanding work and contributions to the study of mental health.

Jessica Gardner, a Master of Social Work student at the University of Ottawa, will receive the award for her research addressing the effectiveness of mental health awareness initiatives developed by the School of Social Work Mental Health committee offered at the postsecondary level.

Megan Gauthier, a Master of Social Work student at Wilfrid Laurier University, will receive the award for her research into the impact of psychological trauma on a person's mental health.

"These recipients represent much of what we aspire towards as a province," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. "Their passion and drive to close gaps and break down barriers in the mental health field help us better understand and support those living with mental health challenges. I want to congratulate both students, and wish them all the best in their future endeavours." 

Each year, the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship is awarded to up to two graduate students enrolled in full-time social work programs at a publicly funded Ontario university. The scholarship supports their research in the mental health field. Each recipient receives $7,500. The annual application period closes on December 15. 

"I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to today's award recipients for their invaluable contributions to mental health and addictions research here in Ontario," said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. "Their dedication and passion for bringing attention to the unique mental health challenges faced by so many Ontarians each and every day is something we can all be proud of. Congratulations!"

"With the mental health field constantly evolving, we owe it to ourselves and our future to nurture the passion and energy of young scholars like Jessica and Megan," said the Honourable Hilary M. Weston. "The gains they have made and will make benefit all of Ontario, when so many of us—at one time or another—will struggle with a mental health challenge."

The Government of Ontario established the scholarships in honour of Hilary M. Weston, the province's 26th Lieutenant Governor. It recognizes her legacy and contributions in the area of mental health.

Quick Facts

  • The recipients were chosen by an independent selection committee in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to advancing mental health research.
  • By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness.
  • This year, the government has invested an additional $174 million to support desperately needed mental health and addictions services on the ground, in communities and health centres across the province. This is part of Ontario’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.

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