News & events

Congratulations Anna Zimmerman

As an undergraduate student in Psychology, Anna is recognized for going above and beyond in serving as a volunteer in positions such as a mental health blogger. One fellow student noted that Anna has been inspirational as “an active role model to her peers.” Congratulations on receiving this award, and thank you so much for all of the ways in which you have gone above and beyond in your contributions at UVic!

So Many Awards!

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Excellence Award recipients! Thank you for your dedication and continued betterment of our faculty. • 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Lalonde, PSYC • 2023 Teaching Excellence Award – Danu Stinson, PSYC • 2023 Early Career Research Award – Theone Paterson, PSYC • 2023 Research Excellence for Graduate Students – Kari Duerksen, PhD in PSYC

Nicole Legg: Addressing pro-ana sites

Suicide and anorexia promotion sites must be addressed in online safety bill: parents, child-protection experts (The Globe and Mail) Parents and child-protection experts are asking the government to take action to prevent suicide and eating disorder glorification on websites and online forums. Nicole Legg comments on how pro-ana sites can reinforce the behaviours of women who already have body image issues. Subscription required

Lou: China Election Interference

China election interference investigation could cause more anti-Asian racism, communities warn (CBC News) Some members of the Chinese diaspora are voicing concerns over the possibility that the investigation into claims China interfered with two elections may worsen anti-Asian racism in this country. Nigel Mantou Lou comments on unfair assumptions about community members' political beliefs.

Bonnie Leadbeater: Pink Shirt Day Reflections

Pink Shirt Day opportunity to reflect on harm to society caused by bullying, UVic prof says (CBC News) As BC commemorates the 16th anniversary of Pink Shirt Day, Bonnie Leadbeater shares the importance of reflecting on the effects of bullying and the systemic social issues which underlie it. Leadbeater also provides insight into the Walk away, Ignore, Talk about it, Seek help (WITS) program which supports children who are teased or bullied. Additional coverage: BC Today (CBC Radio) UVic marks Pink Shirt Day Feb. 22 (UVic News)

Psi Chi: Successful Shoebox Fundraiser

On behalf of Psi Chi, Thank you so much for your amazing contributions to our Shoebox fundraiser in December. We filled more shoeboxes than our target: 27 (valued at $50 each)! This is the most shoeboxes we’ve ever been able to fill. Throughout the night we had a team of 18 incredible volunteers helping us fill, wrap, and write personalized cards. None of this would have been possible without you, so please accept our heartfelt thanks.

Jodie Gawryluk: Traffic Pollution May Be Affecting Your Brain

Traffic pollution may be affecting our brains, say UBC and UVic researchers (CTV Vancouver) Recent research by UVic and UBC outlines that exposure to traffic pollution directly impacts how the brain works. Jodie Gawryluk explains how they were able to analyze effects on the brain by using fMRI machines. Gawryluk also comments that more studies are needed to identify the long-term effects of repeated exposure. Additional coverage: Air pollution is changing how our brain functions, researchers at UBC, UVic find (CBC News) BC study says exposure to diesel pollution affects brain function (Global News) ‘First of its kind’ study by BC scientists links air pollution to decrease in brain function (Global News) Traffic pollution can impair brain function, say UVic and UBC researchers (Saanich News) Radio West (CBC Radio) Traffic Pollution's Effect on the Brain (CityNews)

Frederick Grouzet: Resolution Motivation

Do it for you: Right motivations key for New Year's resolutions, says UVic prof (Saanich News) Grouzet was also approached by Saanich News for comment on the psychology behind New Year's resolutions. He offers tips on how people can stay committed to their resolutions and achieve their goals. This article also appeared in Victoria News and Oak Bay News.

Emily Haigh: Silent passersby

Indigenous group in Victoria says passersby were silent during racist attack on Orange Shirt Day (Capital Daily) Members of the Indigenous Harm Reduction Team claim that bystanders ignored their calls for help on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, after a man spewed hateful and racist remarks. Emily Haigh comments on the powerful role of bystanders and their willingness to stand up and call out racism.

Danu Stinson: How Your Attachment Style Shapes Your Friendships

How Your Attachment Style Shapes Your Friendships (Atlantic Monthly) An author published a piece adapted from the book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make-and Keep-Friends on the qualities of "super friends" and the different factors contributing to building and maintaining friendships. The author cites Danu Stinson's social experiment to test "the acceptance prophecy."

Paweena Sukhawathanakul: Saanich shootout motive

Paweena Sukhawathanakul, Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies / Psychology Duncan brothers' motive could be difficult to uncover in Saanich shootout: experts (CHEK News) The RCMP have identified twin brothers Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie as the two gunmen who were killed by police during a shootout at the Bank of Montreal in Saanich, BC. Paweena Sukhawathanakul says that uncovering the true motive behind the armed robbery attempt is a daunting process as the suspects may have been influenced by a multitude of social and developmental factors. Additional coverage: CHEK News at 5 (CHEK TV)

Frederick Grouzet: Doom scrolling

Counselling demand on rise as 'doom scrolling' takes its toll (Times Colonist) The Times Colonist reports on the increasing demand for counselling services in Greater Victoria amid the constant barrage of distressing news from around the world. Frederick Grouzet encourages people to focus on what they can control and learn to let go of what they can't. This article appeared on the front page of the print edition and in 15 other media outlets.

Bonnie Leadbeater: Difficult conversations

Victoria man who survived Las Vegas festival shooting reacts to Texas tragedy (CHEK News) CHEK News speaks with Bonnie Leadbeater regarding Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Leadbeater believes it's never too early for parents to start a difficult conversation with their children about their fears and concerns in the wake of recent tragic events.

Bonnie Leadbeater: teen attacks

Police in Metro Vancouver highlight series of recent 'disturbing' teen attacks (CBC News) CBC News examines a recent series of violent attacks in Metro Vancouver in which groups of teens target one individual and post videos of the attack online. Professor emerita Bonnie Leadbeater comments on the concern over the trauma for victims assaulted in this way, saying parents should check in with their kids to talk about what is going on and how to deal with it. Additional coverage: All Points West (CBC Radio)

Tomiko Yoneda: Traits that could predict risk of dementia

The personality traits that could predict your risk of dementia revealed by experts (The Sun UK) The Sun, a popular daily newspaper in the UK, reports the findings of the new study linking certain personality traits to an increased risk of cognitive impairment later in life. Lead author Tomiko Yoneda comments on increased levels of conscientiousness as one potential strategy. Additional coverage: Votre personnalité a un impact sur la santé de votre cerveau ! (Cosmopolitan) Une étude affirme que votre personnalité a un impact non négligeable sur la santé de votre cerveau (Elle)

Tomiko Yoneda: Some Personality Traits Linked to Cognitive Impairment

Some Personality Traits Appear to Be Linked to Cognitive Impairment Later in Life (Science Alert) New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that people with certain personality traits are more vulnerable to cognitive decline later in life. Tomiko Yoneda, lead author of the study, says that people with a high level of conscientiousness and a low level of neuroticism are less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment as they get older. Additional coverage: Dementia: Study Finds Daily Habits Are Linked To Cognitive Decline Later (Times of India)

Robert Gifford: I'm still scared

'I'm still scared': Prescribed burns trigger fear in Lytton children 9 months after wildfire (Times Colonist) Residents of Lytton, BC say last week's prescribed burns in the area brought back traumatic memories of the devastating wildfire in June 2021. Robert Gifford highlights the findings of his study examining the effects of climate anxiety on youth. This article also appeared in nine other media outlets.

Frederick Grouzet: Forest Bathing

Parks Canada partners with the Nature Prescription Program (Radio-Canada) Thanks to a recent collaboration with Parks Canada, physicians registered to the BC Parks Foundation's Nature's Prescription Program can now prescribe spending time in nature at one of the country's many parks and historic sites to patients experiencing anxiety and depression. Frederick Grouzet explains the mental health benefits of 'forest bathing.'

Nigel Mantou Lou: COVID-19 Related Racism

COVID-19 related racism impacts sense of belonging, reporting incidents: Study (Vancouver Sun) A new UVic-led survey reveals that the majority of Chinese-Canadians who experienced coronavirus-related racism and discrimination keep it to themselves rather than tell someone about it. For the Vancouver Sun and The Province, Nigel Mantou Lou, lead of the study, comments on why Chinese-Canadians are reluctant to report incidences of hate crimes to the police. Additional coverage: Expert Q&A on anti-Asian racism during pandemic (UVic News)

Nigel Mantou Lou: Hate Crimes

UVic study shows hate crimes against Asian Canadians increase during pandemic (Victoria News) New research led by Nigel Mantou Lou shows alarming rates of discrimination and hate crimes faced by Chinese Canadians and other Asian Canadians, with reports increasing hundreds of times over what they were before the pandemic began. This local article pulls from the university's announcement this week, while Radio Canada turned directly to Lou for commentary. Additional coverage: Le racisme anti-asiatiques continue d'avoir des conséquences avec la pandémie (Radio-Canada) Expert Q&A on anti-Asian racism during pandemic (UVic News)

Nigel Mantou Lou: Anti-Asian Racism

Advocate pushes for awareness of anti-Asian racism as new surveys highlight toll (CTV News) Amid the rise of hate crimes against Asian-Canadians during COVID-19, Amy Go, president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, and other advocates are calling for greater awareness of the issue of racism in this country. Nigel Mantou Lou recognized the need for new public policies and guidelines to combat racism. This Canadian Press article also appeared in Global News, CHEK News, The Toronto Star, Yahoo! News Canada, MSN and more than 70 other media outlets. Additional coverage: Polls note impact of COVID on discrimination against Asians (Le Droit) CNKW Radio Expert Q&A on anti-Asian racism during pandemic (UVic News)

Robert Gifford: Getting Ready for the Big One

The Big One: Getting Ready for North America's Next Major Quake (The Walrus) The Walrus magazine examines the root causes of people's indifference and general lack of interest in natural disaster preparedness. Robert Gifford discusses the "dragons of inaction" and how these psychological barriers prevent us from making better environmental choices.

Robert Gifford: Are you willing to make needed changes?

Climate change a key issue in federal election, but are you willing to make the changes needed? (CHEK News) CHEK News reports on how political parties plan to address Canada's climate-related challenges. Robert Gifford comments on the country's carbon emission targets and the role each and every one of us must play to achieve them. Additional coverage: Experts on federal election (UVic News)

Robert Gifford: Eco-Grief

'Ecological grief is very real' and it can impact mental health of Canadian youth (Global News) Global News reports on the prevalence of climate anxiety among eco-advocates and Canada's youth. Robert Gifford comments on its impacts on mental health and how we can support one another while taking action against the climate crisis.

Danu Stinson: romantic potential?

How to tell if your friendship could have romantic potential (Metro UK) Coverage continues on new UVic research by Danu Stinson exploring how romantic relationships begin and the factors that influence attraction. This research was also covered by a number of other Canadian and US radio and news outlets. Additional coverage: Most Romantic Couples Started Out as Friends, Study Finds (Health Day)

Frederick Grouzet: How to avoid social anxiety

Déconfinement : comment éviter l'anxiété sociale? (CBC Radio-Canada) As the world gradually reopens, many people are feeling anxious about socializing in public after more than a year of pandemic-induced isolation. Radio-Canada's "Boulevard du Pacifique" speaks with Frederick Grouzet about how people can manage and overcome the social anxiety of returning to pre-pandemic life.

Jim Tanaka: Why people of colour are misidentified so often

Why people of colour are misidentified so often (BBC) BBC News has published an extensive feature on the psychology behind misidentification of people of colour, particularly in work environments. This article asks why, when being confused with someone else can happen to anyone, does it happen more often in majority-white spaces to people of colour? Among several leading experts, BBC News has turned to Jim Tanaka for expert comment on facial recognition and automatic categorizations.

Sarah Macoun: Video games help brain function?

Can video games help improve brain function? (CTV Vancouver Island) Coverage continues about Dino Island, the video game created for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. CTV Vancouver Island speaks with Sarah Macoun for insight into the research and development process of this new hybrid learning tool. Additional coverage: Dino Island improves memory and brain function (UVic News)

Sarah Macoun: R&D on Dino Island

Dino Island (CFAX Radio) Sarah Macoun joins CFAX Radio to discuss UVic's research and development of Dino Island, a new age-appropriate video game and learning tool designed to improve the brain function and cognitive performance of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Additional coverage: Surrey links to 'Dino Island' game, aimed at kids with neuro-developmental disabilities (Surrey Now-Leader)

Sara Macoun: Improving Brain Function

Game changer: Video game could help improve brain function for children with disabilities (Times Colonist) The Times Colonist speaks with Sarah Macoun about a new video game project, Dino Island, designed to improve the attention and working memory of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. A team at UVic, building on years of study, have partnered with the private sector to create this project.

Frederick Grouzet: How People Cope

The new normal: Don't expect a return to pre-pandemic life, experts say (Times Colonist) The Times Colonist is turning to experts for comment on pandemic fatigue and the new normal. Saul Klein sheds light on the shifting global economic landscape and how businesses are adapting to the challenges posed by COVID-19 while Frederick Grouzet explains how people cope differently to significant life changes and uncertainties.

Bonnie Leadbeater: Hateful Comments

'Your parents would be ashamed'; Horgan sounds off on harassers who have threatened Dr. Henry (CHEK News) CHEK News reports on Premier John Horgan's response to people who have uttered threats and made violent threats toward provincial health officer Bonnie Henry. Professor emerita Bonnie Leadbeater explains the psychology behind these hateful comments and notes that people who resort to violence should be legally accountable for their actions.

Catherine Costigan: Get Outside!

New survey shows spending time outdoors is imperative for Canadian's mental health (CHEK News) A new survey by the Nature Conservancy of Canada found that more people are turning to public parks and green spaces as a way to relieve stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. CHEK News spoke to Catherine Costigan for insight into the mental health benefits of outdoor exercise.

Brianna Turner: Suicide Prevention Barriers

Calls for changes, barriers at Goldstream Trestle after Langford teen's death (Victoria News) Victoria News reports on the growing calls for safety improvements at Goldstream Trestle in Langford following the latest incident of youth suicide in the area. Brianna Turner comments on the complex nature of mental health illnesses and the effectiveness of suicide prevention barriers.

Frederick Grouzet: Finding ways to Thrive in Pandemic

Pandemic stress can lead to impaired decision-making, breaking of health orders: expert (Times Colonist) A front-page article in the Times Colonist includes insights from Olav Krigolson and Frederick Grouzet about the mental health impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Krigolson comments on how coronavirus-related stress impairs people's ability to make good decisions, while Grouzet reveals how some people are finding ways to thrive amidst global uncertainty. Victoria hotline offers sounds to inspire joy and calm during pandemic (Times Colonist) Another local media outlet also turned to Grouzet for comment on the new community hotline launched by Victoria's Artist in Residence program to provide music therapy and guided meditation for people struggling with coronavirus-related stress.

Brianna Turner: It's OK not to feel OK

It's OK not to feel OK during the holidays and pandemic: Psychologist (CTV Vancouver Island) CTV News turns to Brianna Turner for insights into the mental health implications of COVID-19, especially on the impacts of isolation measures during the holiday season. Turner outlines the importance of maintaining social connections during times of stress and uncertainty.

Frederick Grouzet: Anxious about the U.S. election?

Anxious about the U.S. election? You're not alone (Times Colonist) For a front-page story in the Times Colonist, Frederick Grouzet and Oliver Schmidtke break-down the Canadians' growing sense of unease over the possible outcome of the US presidential election. Grouzet explains how most Canadians are struggling with their lack of influence or control over an outcome that will greatly impact them. Schmidtke discusses Canadians' concern about the instability and direction of democracy in the US. Additional coverage: Experts on US presidential election (UVic News)

Helia Sehatpour: Need a green recovery from Covid

I am a graduate student in the psychology department and recently wrote an op-ed on the need for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, which was published in the following two news outlets: • The Georgia Straight - Vancouver: • NOW Magazine - NOW Toronto:

Bonnie Leadbeater: Wildfires add to stress during pandemic

Wildfires add to stress during COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island (CHEK News) CHEK News spoke to experts Bonnie Leadbeater and David Atkinson about various implications of the smoke drifting to Vancouver from the California and Washington wildfires. Atkinson explains how environmental shifts are leading to more extreme dry seasons and greater impacts, and Leadbeater discusses how air quality issues are compounding mental health strains.

Paterson, Turner: Impact of pandemic on mental health

UVic researchers study impact of global pandemic on mental health (Times Colonist) UVic researchers are leading the Canadian portion of an international collaborative research project examining the global impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Theone Paterson shares some key elements of the Canadian aspect of the survey study which is being co-led by Brianna Turner. Additional coverage: Expert Q&A on COVID-19 and mental health impacts (UVic News)

Stephen Lindsay: Conspiracy Theory

The Destructive Conspiracy Theory That Victoria Unleashed Upon the World (The Capital) The Capital, a local news source edited by former National Post reporter Tristin Hopper, explores the historical impact of harmful conspiracy theories and specifically focuses on the story of Michelle Proby. Stephen Lindsay comments on the nature and weaknesses of memory and how these can contribute to the creation of false memories.

Theone Paterson, Brianna Turner on CFAX

International mental health research (CFAX Radio) Theone Paterson joins CFAX Radio to talk about a new international collaborative research project which examines the global impacts of COVID-19 on mental health. Paterson comments on the Canadian aspect of the survey study which is being co-led by Brianna Turner. Additional coverage: Expert Q&A on COVID-19 and mental health impacts (UVic News)

Bonnie Leadbeater: We could handle this better

'We could handle this better': expert says B.C. needs to beef up COVID-19 message to youth (CHEK News) Following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases for BC's youth aged 20 to 29, CHEK News spoke to Bonnie Leadbeater who says that blaming young people for being careless is not the right approach. Leadbeater urges the province to direct more specifically applicable health guideline messaging towards youth.

Robert Gifford: Will COVID-19 Help Climate Change

The New Reality: Will COVID-19 help flatten the curve on climate change? (Global News) Environmental experts argue that the COVID-19 pandemic may actually save lives by improving air quality around the world. Robert Gifford says this global disruption provides governments and the public with a unique opportunity to address the climate crisis.

Jim Tanaka: Video Game Environments for Autism

Student developers aim to create a game for children on autism spectrum (Washington Post) A Montreal-based entertainment company has partnered with aspiring student developers to create a game for children living with autism. Jim Tanaka says video games provide environments that are more stable and predictable than the real world for those on the spectrum of autism.

Robert Gifford: Dragons of Inaction

Les « dragons de l'inaction », ces obstacles psychologiques à la lutte pour le climat (Radio-Canada) Radio-Canada features an interview with Robert Gifford about the "dragons of inaction" a term he coined to reference the psychological barriers of climate change. Gifford also discusses what COVID-19 can teach us about our collective capacity for change and other topics from the new podcast miniseries "Scales of Change: A field guide to the Dragons of Climate Inaction" from Future Ecologies. Additional coverage: Scales of Change: Q&A with creators of new climate action podcast (UVic News)

Catherine Costigan: Made in BC Approach Working

'Made in B.C.' approach appears to be working during pandemic (CHEK News) BC's response to COVID-19 has proven to be effective and the province plans to maintain a slower approach to reopening. Catherine Costigan believes people are able to maintain safety protocols for extended periods of time when given credible evidence and a good rationale.

Bob Gifford: Don't Blame the Covidiots

Don't blame the COVIDIOTS, blame the messengers: Why some people don't take the pandemic warnings seriously (National Post) Some Canadians are still not taking the pandemic warnings seriously. Robert Gifford says human brains are wired towards optimism. This front-page article in today's National Post also appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Province and in more than 30 other publications

In memoriam: Chris Lalonde

May 31, 2023 -

Dr. Christopher Edward LalondeSept. 7, 1959 – May 8, 2023 Chris Lalonde was an internationally recognized scientist based at UVic whose research, which he presented widely, focused on the role of culture in reducing suicide risk among Ind…

Read more: In memoriam: Chris Lalonde
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2022 REACH Awards

February 6, 2023 -

The REACH Awards honour the extraordinary teachers and researchers who lead the way in dynamic learning and make a vital impact at UVic, in the classroom and beyond.

Read more: 2022 REACH Awards

View all events on the UVic Psychology calendar.

Samosa sale for the World Partnership Walk

In support of the World Partnership Walk (Canada's largest event in support of fighting global poverty), UVic is coordinating the sale of delicious homemade samosas.

Samosas are sold by the dozen at $25 per dozen. Orders must be submitted and paid for by Tuesday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Summer Reading Book Bingo

Love pizza? Love reading? Visit the Ask Us desk this summer and pick up a Book Bingo Card.

How does it work? When you finish reading a book, see us to receive a stamp on your bingo card. For every bingo line you get, you will be entered in a draw for a free large pizza at the end of thesummer!

So happy reading and happy eating!

Contest rules

STAGES 44th Celebration of Dance

Stages' 44th Annual June Recital

Saturday June 15th 2024

11am & 2.30pm

The students of STAGES Performing Arts School take to the University of Victoria's Farquhar Auditorium's stage to celebrate STAGES 44th annual Celebration of Dance! Performances in Ballet, Pointe,Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Lyrical and more. From preschool to adult, beginner to pre-professional, come join us to celebrate the love of dance!!

Adults $24.00

Seniors/ Students / Children $22.00

Civil War

See the full schedule of movies at c!

Men’s Halaqa (Islamic Lecture)

Men's Halaqa is a weekly program. Each week, a different principle will be explored and led by a Muslim volunteer in collaboration with our Muslim Spiritual Care Provider.

Civil War

See the full schedule of movies at c!

Women’s Halaqa (Islamic Lecture)

Women's Halaqa is a weekly program. Each week, a different principle will be explored and led by a Muslim Spiritual Care Provider of UVic.

For archive news older than January 2013, see the news archives.