Closing the service gap for youth

Social Sciences

- Anne MacLaurin

Andrea Mellor, 2023 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient
Andrea Mellor, 2023 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient (photo supplied).

As a postdoctoral researcher focused on social and cultural dimensions of health, Dr. Andrea Mellor’s research looks to strengthen health and social systems. She does this by cultivating safer and non-judgemental spaces of care that can enhance service access to marginalized populations.

Too often, folks fall through the cracks and there is no safety net.”

— Andrea Mellor, Banting fellow

Mellor refers to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who may face various challenges in their lives—such as poverty, foster care, disability, substance use, mental illness and involvement in stigmatized activities.

“Research can play a role in bridging those gaps and help make things a little less challenging in day-to-day living,” says Mellor. “Collaborating with youth working groups gives us an opportunity to learn from the real experts what the healthcare landscape looks like from their perspective and work together to develop programs and strategies that meet their needs.”

I love being able to work with youth for instance, who, despite their own stories, continue to show up and contribute in meaningful ways because they want to help their friends, families and communities—plus, they have a way of cutting to the heart of an issue and laying out clear solutions.

It’s humbling to be in a position where I can support young people envision pathways to bright futures and work alongside other allies to bring this into reality.” 

— Andrea Mellor

The Banting Fellowship will support the creation of brighter prospects for local communities. Dr. Mellor explains, “The Understanding Pathways research project, a community-based initiative aims to identify low-barrier and non-judgemental mental health and substance use services for youth in Victoria.”

Dr. Mellor completed her BSc and MSc in Geoscience at the University of Calgary, and her PhD at the University of Victoria in the Social Dimensions of Health program. She received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Top Dissertation (2021), is a Canadian Institutes Health Research Post-Doctoral Banting Fellow (2023-2025), Health Research BC Research Trainee (2023-2025), Research Associate with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria.


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Keywords: community, research, health

People: Andrea Mellor

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