Research at the Lady Davis InstituteSpring 2015

Focus on teenagers in milestone
Psychiatry Research Day

The JGH’s annual Psychiatry Research Day hit its milestone 10th anniversary this year, with a day in March devoted to examining the various ways that teenagers and adolescents use and sometimes abuse their bodies.

The idea for the yearly event originated with Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz, Director of Research in the JGH Department of Psychiatry, who proposed a half-day conference where members of her department could present updates about their work to healthcare professionals from inside and outside the JGH.

“My vision was to make community-based clinicians aware of our research and its implications for patient care,” says Dr. Zelkowitz, who is also head of research into the psychosocial aspects of disease at the Lady Davis Institute at the JGH.

“I hoped to encourage a dialogue that would help us devise research questions to address existing and emerging public health needs. Over the years, hundreds have attended from many areas of practice, as well as students and trainees. That they come back year after year is probably the best indication that they find value in the event.”

Each Research Day has a theme, with presentations by three or four psychiatry researchers. The inaugural event focused on women’s health, while subsequent gatherings have explored suicide, caring for the chronically ill, providing mental health services to diverse ethnic populations, depression, and child psychiatry.

Two years ago, Dr. David Dunkley, a JGH psychiatric researcher, took over as the organizer of Research Day, which has benefited from the generous support of the Gustav Levinschi Foundation. “Our mission,” Dr. Dunkley says, “is to highlight translational research as a vital means of linking clinical science to a comprehensive and holistic perspective on the person in treatment. The objective is to offer a better understanding of the social, cultural and psychological factors that have an impact on mental health.”

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