People First Media program archive

Web of culture: Building online mental health resources for northern youth in BC

June 20th, 2016 | Posted by pfmarchive in uncategorized

picture 696abanner pfrValerie Ward’s research with Indigenous youth living in northern B.C. explores whether existing online mental health resources are age and culturally appropriate

Valerie Ward was a presenter at the 17th Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference, held in Kelowna BC June 17 and 18, 2016. Her research presentation, Web Of Culture: Building Culturally Relevant Online Mental Health Resources For Aboriginal Youth Living In Northern British Columbia, explored whether existing online mental health resources which cater to a BC audience, are age and culturally appropriate for Indigenous youth living in Northern BC.

Using a social determinants of health framework, Ward’s research employed decolonizing and action-based research methodologies to explore mental health disparities experienced by young Aboriginals. Digital storytelling was explored as a potential tool for documenting young Indigenous voices in sharing what they envision as ideal online mental health resources.

People First Radio’s Kevin Midbo was at the conference and spoke with Valerie Ward shortly after her presentation.

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About Valerie Ward

valerie wardValerie Ward was born and raised in Surrey, B.C. After completing high school, she attended the University of Guelph in order to pursue a degree in Biomedical Sciences where she also competed as a varsity swimmer. As a result of her experiences, including traveling to remote villages in Thailand with “Where There is Not a Doctor”, her focus has shifted from the health of one cell or person to the health of a community or larger populations and the social determinants of health.

Valerie is currently enrolled in a Masters of Community Health at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her research interests include sustainable relationships between primary care physicians and the communities in which they are practicing, as well as sustainable methods for program development within Indigenous communities.

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