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New grants support Sheridan research in arts and aging for long-term care staff and civic engagement opportunities for Black and Indigenous youth

Oct 14, 2022
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NSERC's red logo with Canadian maple leafSheridan has been awarded two College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) grants from the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Council (NSERC) of Canada that will address support for long-term care staff and increased community opportunities for Black and Indigenous youth.

Sheridan has been awarded $360,000 over three years for each project.

“CreateMore: Examining Application of Arts and Creativity in Everyday Care Activities as a Health Promotion and Mental Health Recovery Strategy for Staff in Long-term Care”

Led by Dr. Kate Dupuis, Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging at the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research (CER) and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), with co-investigators Dr. Brandon McFarlane (professor in the Sheridan Pilon School of Business) and Dr. Lia Tsotsos (CER Director), the research team has collaborated with community partners LUCID, the RIA, Concerts in Care Ontario, and Schlegel Villages to create a music and meditation-based intervention to support staff working in long-term care homes.

Dr. Kate Dupuis“CreateMore” will encourage staff to use the arts and self-expression to support their recovery from potential trauma experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This support is also meant to help caregivers connect with their residents on a deeper, personal level, supporting a more holistic model of care in the long-term care space.

“We look forward to engaging in this important work with the support of CCSIF. Many staff working in long-term care have experienced extreme distress and trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is eager to harness the incredible power of the arts, in particular music, to help them recover and thrive,” said Dr. Dupuis.

“Co-creating Opportunities for Civic Engagement with Black and Indigenous Young People”

Co-led by Dr. Abigail Salole, Sheridan Director of EDI Knowledge Translation and Institutional Accountability, and Fallon Melander, Sheridan Legal Counsel, and in partnership with Moyo Health and Community Services, Volunteer Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, and ResQ Youth, this project will center the voices of Black and Indigenous young people to reimagine and create opportunities to enhance their civic engagement. The research will include mobilizing Black and Indigenous young people’s expertise about community connections through the dissemination of case studies, best practices and practical tools to develop programs in the voluntary sector and beyond, in ways that are welcoming and affirming.

Abigail Salole and Fallen Melander“The principles of humility, connection and respect will lead this project. The answers have always been there, but we haven’t been listening to them. This project will allow us to listen, learn and amplify the voices of Black and Indigenous youth in a way that promotes change and demands action,” said Melander.

“We’re thrilled to receive this funding from NSERC. The relevancy of these projects in our complex world provides an exciting opportunity to find new and innovative ways of supporting community health care and Black and Indigenous youth. Congratulations to the members of both research teams on this terrific achievement,” said Andrea England, Vice Provost, Research, at Sheridan.

“The pandemic has shown us that investing in health promotion, mental health, and community engagement is key. Sheridan College is making significant contributions to the research and innovation ecosystem in Brampton and beyond. I'm thrilled that they, alongside other community partners, are receiving federal funding through NSERC. These projects will make a real difference in the lives of many in our communities,” said Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South.

In NSERC’s recent funding announcement, Sheridan has also received a $3 million Mobilize Grant.

For more information on research and innovation at Sheridan, please visit research.sheridancollege.ca.

Pictured above right (left to right): Dr. Abigail Salole and Fallon Melander. Pictured above left: Dr. Kate Dupuis

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