News & events

CFYS events bring together Research Fellows, Student Affiliates, and Community Partners.
CFYS events bring together Research Fellows, Student Affiliates, and Community Partners.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Catherine McGregor appointed to special advisory commission aimed to increase Indigenous graduation rates in SD57

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Catherine McGregor was appointed to an advisory commission in SD57 which has historically low graduation rates for Indigenous students. The commission includes experts in education, like McGregor, and Indigenous trustees.

CFYS Fellows Dr. Fred Chou and Dr. Catherine Costigan use COVID-19 research grant to combat anti-Asian racism

CFYS Research Fellows Dr. Fred Chou and Dr. Catherine Costigan are part of an intergenerational team tackling anti-Asian racism amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has created Growth and Solidarity: An Anti-Racism Zine for Asian Youth (and Adults Too!), a free resource for youth to better understand racism and how to be anti-racist.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly: Alcohol harm reduction saves lives, particularly during COVID-19

CFYS Research Fellow and a lead researcher of the Canadian Managed Alcohol Program Study has been studying harm reduction practices, particularly Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs), for years. MAPs implement the same principles as many other harm-reduction programs and provide premeasured doses of alcohol to those with alcohol dependence for whom traditional abstinence programs have not worked as well as other supports. MAPs have proven to be both safe and effective, according to Pauly's research.

Q&A with CFYS Fellow Dr. Ryan Rhodes on staying active during the pandemic

Dr. Ryan Rhodes, CFYS Research Fellow and exercise psychologist, was interviewed on the importance of maintaining physical activity during COVID-19. This Q&A session covers why physical activity is important, how to build exercise into daily habits, and how to best maintain both physical and mental health during the pandemic.

Q&A with CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Sam Liu on pandemic stress and personality

Dr. Sam Liu, CFYS Fellow and expert in physical activity and health promotion, eHealth, and chronic disease prevention and management, completed a Q&A session on his research on the COVID-19 pandemic. Liu's research has found a relationship between perceptions of stress, personality factors such as extroversion, sociability and neuroticism, and adherence to government guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner reveals early results of global survey on the mental health impacts of COVID-19

Early results from a global survey involving UVic researchers Dr. Theone Patterson and CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner hint at negative mental health outcomes of COVID-19. The survey reports that the number of Canadians reporting suicidal thoughts has increased by about 50 percent and many more are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Additionally, about 40 percent of Canadians needing mental health services say they are underserved by current support systems.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Cecilia Benoit: Sex workers excluded from COVID-19 benefits

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Cecilia Benoit has authored an article on how Canada's COVID relief plans, aimed to leave no one behind, exclude sex workers. With establishments such as strip clubs, massage parlours and escort agencies, forced to close, those who work in the sex industry are likely to have faced job loss but are unlikely to qualify for government relief programs such as CERB.

A home is a basic right: CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly co-authors article on the importance of housing in the midst of COVID-19

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly has co-authored an article on the difficulties faced by the homeless community during COVID-19, as well as the need for increased supports following COVID-19. While critiquing the use of the criminal justice approach to homelessness in Canada, Pauly's article proposes housing and a liveable income as central solutions to the homeless crisis.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner involved in study of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner and fellow University of Victoria psychology professor Dr. Theon Patterson are involved with a global team of researchers studying the mental health effects of COVID-19. The global study includes 11 countries with varying approaches to mental health and public health and aims to measure the effects on mental health at varying points during the pandemic.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucina speaks with Creative Mornings about her personal experience in academia as a woman of colour

CFYS Research Fellow joins Creative Mornings to discuss her experiences as a woman of colour in academia and her research, which focuses on family and gender-based violence, the role of trauma in migration, and the life stories of second-generation immigrant women.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet featured in Alumni Association virtual event: Be Kind to Your Mind

CFYS Director and Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Frederick Grouzet was one of two experts interviewed for the virtual "Be Kind to Your Mind" event from the Alumni Association. The event focuses on the effects of isolation on the brain as well as how to navigate reduced social contact.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Sam Liu pilots Draco, a digital app aimed to help families increase physical activity and healthy eating

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Sam Liu leads a project to create Draco, a virtual app aimed to be a "Tamagotchi-inspired exercise buddy" which combats childhood obesity. Draco encourages both children and caregivers to log exercise and healthy eating to take care of a virtual dragon pet in the app. Liu is encouraged by initial positive reactions from children interacting with Draco.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly: Prevention of COVID-19 in inadequately or unhoused residents

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly co-authored an article on where public health efforts fall short in reducing the instances of COVID-19 among B.C.'s vulnerable citizens and what can be done to increase effectiveness. Most preventative measures, such as frequent hand washing and self-isolation, are inaccessible to people without a home. Therefore, housing should be the first step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in these communities.

CFYS Research Fellows Dr. Bernie Pauly and Dr. Tim Stockwell: A new approach to harm reduction

Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs) aim to support vulnerable individuals with severe alcohol dependences by providing measured doses of beer or wine, often paired with housing and other supports. CFYS Research Fellows Dr. Bernie Pauly and Dr. Tim Stockwell explain why this new program has shown success for individuals for whom traditional abstinence-based programs have not worked.

Report on the benefits of ACT teams for vulnerable populations from CFYS Fellow Dr. Catherine Costigan

With substance abuse and mental illness cases on the rise in Canada, CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Catherine Costigan and colleague for the Psychology Department Erica Wooden evaluate an alternative treatment method in Victoria. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams are made up of law enforcement and healthcare workers and aim to treat each client as a whole person. So far, the four teams operating in Victoria have had success and serve over 300 clients.

Q&A with CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater on bullying for Pink Shirt Day

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, an expert on child and youth mental health and the role of peer victimization in the development of psychosocial problems, was interviewed for Pink Shirt Day. Leadbeater has been the lead investigator for the "WITS” (Walk away-Ignore-Talk it out-Seek help) program which aims to prevent peer victimization and bullying for 20 years. In the Q&A session, she covers how bullying has evolved during this time and which prevention strategies are most effective.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Sarah Macoun leads development of Dino Island

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Sarah Macoun is the principle investigator on a new video game project, Dino Island, which aims to improve the attention and working memory of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dino Island contains five "serious" video games designed to have therapeutic results for children. The project hopes to add another 55 families to early testing.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater discusses the blame placed on youth for the spread of COVID-19

This opinion piece, co-authored by CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater takes on Premier John Horgan's recent comments about the role young adults aged 20 to 39 play in the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. The analysis explores the various environmental factors which put young adults at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and how the government should engage with young people in the development of recovery plans.

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, CFYS Fellow, published a new study on marijuana use and youth driving

A new study lead by UVic psychologist, and CFYS Fellow, Bonnie Leadbeater was just released in the journal of Paediatrics & Child Health. This study is an important voice in the discussion of legalization of marijuana as the study finds that high proportion of young adults who consume pot are also driving.

CFYS Fellow, Dr. Cecilia Benoit, received the Provost's Engaged Scholar Award

Congratulations to Drs. Cecilia Benoit (sociology), Jay Cullen (earth and ocean sciences) and Andrea Walsh (anthropology) who have been named the 2017 recipients of the Provost's Engaged Scholar Award. The award celebrates tenured faculty members who have made significant contributions to community through their integration of outstanding scholarship, inspired teaching and community engagement.

New Report: "Changes and Challenges" Portraits BC Youth

“Changes and Challenges: A Decade of Observations of the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia” is a new report which was released by Island Health and UVic. The report spans a decade (2003-2013) of repeat interviews from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, with 662 young people from Greater Victoria as a random-sample cohort of youth from ages 12 to 18. “This snapshot in time of people now 25 to 31 years old is applicable to any youth right now,” says UVic psychologist, lead author, and former CFYS Director Bonnie Leadbeater. This study carries important national messages about the need for better policies and changes in attitudes and actions to improve youth self-care, promote health and reduce stress in this age group.

Flourishing Children and Youth Forum

The CFYS and the CRD-Community Health Network co-hosted the Flourishing Children and Youth Forum in December 2019. The free, one-day community research forum brought leaders from local community organizations, health authorities, school districts, non-profit organizations, and municipal and provincial governments together to discuss the health and well-being of children and youth.

UVic Ideafest Talk: "E-Children and @Youth: The Promise and Perils of Electronic Media"

Join CFYS Fellows, the CFYS Director, and other UVic researchers for a discussion about how electronic media are changing childhood, from cyberbullying to supporting student learning. As electronic media become increasingly omnipresent, users are getting younger and younger. Apps targeting tots, smartphone use among middle schoolers and therapeutic uses of technology are just a few recent areas of study for UVic researchers.

Through our biannual newsletters we share current research, student opportunities, partnership news and recent events at CFYS. 

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CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly on the BC Overdose Crisis and Safe Supply of Substances

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly was recently interviewed in regard to the overdose crisis in British Columbia. The overdose crisis has been officially declared a public health emergency for over five years, and Pauly's proposed solution is quite simple: safer supply of substances will effectively end the war on drugs.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet: Hogan's critique of young adults more likely to lead to opposition than compliance with pandemic restrictions

According to CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet, targeting a specific group is not an effective way to change behaviour. A more effective strategy is to use an empathetic approach and show understanding, says Grouzet.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet: How people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

CFYS Director Frederick Grouzet was recently interviewed by the Times Columnist about how people are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting effects. While this sort of disruption to everyday life is unprecedented and therefore it is difficult to predict the long-term consequences, Grouzet predicts that some people will struggle in the aftermath of the pandemic, whereas others will use it as a catalyst for positive change.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Fred Chou on the importance of finding community in the face of anti-Asian attacks and racism

Nearly 6,000 Quebec residents of Asian heritage have joined "Groupe d’Entraide contre le racisme envers les asiatiques au Québec," a Facebook group created as a safe space to share experiences of racism. Dr. Fred Chou, CFYS Research Fellow, says that virtual support groups like this are a great effort and can provide a gateway to accepting formal mental health assistance for those who require it.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner on Youth Suicide Prevention

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Brianna Turner was recently interviewed following the death by suicide of a Langford teen. Turner specializes in suicide and non-suicidal self-injury as well as other risky behaviours taken by adolescents. In terms of suicide prevention, she says a couple of hours or days can make the difference, making a strong case for barriers in popular areas, as well as increased mental health support for adolescents.

It’s important to not try to impose on the other person what to do, to tell them what to do:' CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet on efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet says that "do more" messaging in regard to COVID-19 restrictions may not be the best approach. Grouzet believes that to be effective, such messaging must also be combined with examples of how people who have already been following guidelines can improve.

People's economic situation determines their health:' CFYS Fellow Dr. Cecilia Benoit explains why the pandemic may have a greater impact on poor people

CFYS Research Fellow and sociologist, Dr. Cecilia Benoit discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic will be more difficult for poorer people. Not only do people from lower socioeconomic classes have fewer resources, but they are more likely to have health problems, face employment barriers, and be ineligible for COVID relief measures like CERB.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet on the possible benefits of a hotline offering calming sounds

A new hotline, based in the Victoria area, offers callers calming sounds or music and aims to combat pandemic sadness or stress. CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet believes that listening to music or getting outside is effective alongside treatment in reducing anxiety levels.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly on the benefits of Managed Alcohol Programs for individuals experiencing homelessness

According to CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly, an expert on harm reduction practices, the pandemic has been harder for Canada's homeless population than most realize. With usual sources of income, such as recycling at bottle depots, impacted and fewer services available, individuals with alcohol dependences may resort to dangerous methods of consumption or face withdrawal. Managed Alcohol Programs, which Pauly has studied extensively, offer pre-measured daily doses of alcohol and other supports to individuals who have not had success with abstinence-based programs.

'This means we are seen and heard:' CFYS Fellow Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucina on the impacts of having an immigrant woman of South Asian heritage as the next U.S. vice-president

As a second-generation immigrant, woman of colour, academic, and parent, CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucina reflects on the joy experienced by herself and her daughter when Kamala Harris was announced as the next vice-president of the U.S and why this sort of representation matters.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Ryan Rhodes emphasizes need to remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic

According to research by CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Ryan Rhodes, 20 percent of Canadians have become inactive since the start of the pandemic. As an exercise psychologist, Rhodes suggests pairing physical activity with already established daily routines, such as a morning cup of coffee.

Restrictions are more difficult for extroverts: CFYS Fellow Dr. Sam Liu discusses personality and the pandemic

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Sam Liu has been researching the relationship between stress, personality type, and adherence to pandemic restrictions during COVID-19. Liu says that individuals higher in extraversion are more likely to lean on others when stressed and therefore may be more affected by pandemic restrictions.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly on where the government falls short supporting homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic

According to CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly, increasing low-income and supportive housing opportunities for Victoria's houseless population is an appropriate step in supporting the community during COVID-19, this alone will not solve Victoria's homeless crisis. Pauly also cautions that removing people from the places they have come to call home can be a difficult situation and must be approached with care.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly weighs in on Victoria's attempt to house homeless residents

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bernie Pauly from the University of Victoria School of Nursing was interviewed in regards to the city of Victoria's plans to house homeless residents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Pauly also discusses fears that Victoria's homeless population will increase once federal COVID-19 relief ends, despite efforts to decrease the numbers of homeless individuals through increased temporary housing efforts.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Catherine Costigan on staying connected while grieving a loved one during COVID-19 restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way people mark the passing on of loved ones, with attendance limits for funerals and travel restrictions. CFYS Research Fellow and registered psychologist Dr. Catherine Costigan says that it's important to honour the person, even without a traditional ceremony, and to connect with loved ones to avoid "isolation on top of isolation" during the pandemic.

Should Vancouver Island welcome tourists this summer? CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet weighs in

With COVID-19 cases low, Vancouver Island is looking at welcoming tourists for the summer. CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet talks about the natural feelings of safety that come with living on an island and why residents may want that feeling of protection to continue.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet on the importance of trust in health authorities during COVID-19

Trust in health authorities is important when combating the pandemic, says CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet. What contributes to this trust? Independence from partisan government, clear explanations of what to do and why it is important and strong evidence to back up messages.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater on how COVID-19 school interruptions may affect children

Expert on pediatric mental health and CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater talks about the challenges and benefits of sending children back to school. According to Leadbeater, the transition will affect all children differently, so it is important for parents to check in with their children during the process.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet comments on B.C.'s approach to COVID-19

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet believes that B.C. is correct to steer clear of rigid rules and consequences in its response to COVID-19. Grouzet, an expert on how people react to threats and fear, says that such measures often lead to immediate compliance. However, most people don't respond well to fear and this compliance quickly dissipates as people adapt.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Catherine Costigan on the challenges of repopening B.C.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Catherine Costigan was interviewed on the challenges of returning to everyday life post-COVID-19. According to Costigan, the transition will be gradual, with all aspects of society moving at the same rate. Costigan warns that this transition may be difficult for some and that it may be particularly hard for teens to balance socialization with pandemic restrictions.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater on B.C.'s future with COVID-19

CFYS Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, an expert on child and youth mental health, advises a slow and cautious approach to reintegrating interactions with people outside of the household for children. While many children may be yearning for missed socialization with peers, others may be quite anxious.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet interviewed in regard to B.C.'s summer COVID-19 restrictions

Pay attention to guidelines and think carefully about when, how, and with whom you interact: two actions CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet recommends this summer as pandemic restrictions ease. Grouzet also urges health officials to provide concrete examples of what is acceptable interaction with others.

It's finding the right balance:' CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet on messaging related to COVID-19 restrictions in B.C.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet studies how people react to threats and fears and how risks are perceived. He was recently interviewed in regard to easing COVID-19 restrictions. Grouzet emphasizes that the right balance is crucial when communicating with the public in order to maximize adherence to restrictions without causing panic.

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet on social media productivity bragging during the pandemic

CFYS Director Dr. Frederick Grouzet was interviewed regarding productivity bragging on social media. In the absence of traditional external markers of success, people are turning to virtual platforms to display as a way to connect and share achievements.

CFYS Fellow Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucin weighs in on the ever-present racism faced by immigrants and their children in Canada

As a second-generation Canadian herself, CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucina speaks about the racism faced by immigrants in Canada and their families. She claims that Canadian society is often portrayed as multicultural, loving, and free, but the racism runs deep into Canada's colonial roots.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater on the risks of pot-smoking in adolescence

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater highlights two research studies that show negative outcomes of frequent marijuana use in adolescence, compared to moderate to no consumption. Drawing from her own research with the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, Leadbeater calls for better education and comprehensive warning labels on the risks of early cannabis consumption.

CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater and Dr. Mandeep Mucina, discuss the anniversary of Reena Virk’s Death

Remembering Reena: A Community’s Commitment to Non-Violence took place on November 14th, marking the 20th anniversary of Reena Virk’s death. This tragedy sparked the formation of the Youth & Society research group at UVic, focused on the prevention of youth violence, which would evolve into the Centre for Youth and Society. In this video, CFYS Research Fellow and former Director, Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater and Dr. Mandeep Mucina, discuss the impacts of Reena Virk’s death and the ongoing fight against youth violence.