Reducing mental health disparities through population health promotion: translating knowledge into practice – practice into knowledge

Last Updated: December 7, 2012

Sylvia Abonyi, PhD ((Co-Investigator))

Processes of economic, social, and cultural marginalization and vulnerability have some common implications for the ways in which the mental wellbeing and self-determination of Indigenous and racialized immigrant women are shaped. Understanding these dynamics and theorizing ethno-cultural similarities and differences in mental health promotion processes will contribute to reduced mental health disparities of these vulnerable populations, ultimately through the development of more robust mental health promotion theory and better informed mental health promotion policy and practice. 

Through knowledge development and translation activities, this project sought to understand and address mental health disparities among vulnerable populations, specifically Indigenous and racialized immigrant women. This project, led by Lewis Williams (University of Saskatchewan Arts Department) as Principal Investigator, mobilized a trans-disciplinary and multi-faceted research program that will create new knowledge in mental health promotion theory, policy, and practice. This was achieved by bringing together a unique blend of research scientists, policy and decision makers, and community-based practitioners.

Goals / Outcomes: The objectives of the study included: mapping the continuum of approaches to mental wellbeing and culturally embedded conceptualizations of mental health in mental health promotion-related discourse and policy; the development of culturally relevant evaluation frameworks; theorization of MHP processes relevant to the study groups; the development of innovative and culturally relevant knowledge translation approaches; and building interdisciplinary and long-term research capacity through the integration of multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches with the university and community-based training opportunities. 

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Teams Grant Program)