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Grant Announcement (RYSE)

The Resilience Research Centre based at Dalhousie University RECEIVES GRANT FROM the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a multinational youth resilience project.

Halifax, N.S  – Dalhousie University’s Resilience Research Centre is pleased to announce it has received a $2,000,000 Team Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. These funds will support the Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments (RYSE) project being conducted in multiple communities in Canada and South Africa.

The RYSE project is a 5-year multinational program of research that will examine patterns of resilience among young people (15-24) in contexts of oil and gas production and consumption (e.g., climate change) in Alberta and Nunavut, with comparison sites in South Africa. The goal is to identify the protective and promotive factors that can enhance the capacity of young people to adapt in changing social, economic and natural environments. This research is unique because of its focus on resilience at different levels in the same study, from the biological and psychological resilience of individuals, to the resilience of their families, communities and natural environments. For the purposes of this study, the research team will use Dr. Ungar’s social-ecological definition of Resilience, which states that, “In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.” Findings from the study will be used to inform social policy and programming for young people living in stressed communities (such as those going through boom-bust economic cycles, and those affected by catastrophic weather events), emphasizing how we can build supportive social and physical environments that support the well-being of young people.

(Quote from Dr. Ungar about the impact this grant will have on the communities involved).

“This grant brings together an international team of experts ranging from biological scientists to mental health specialists and environmental researchers. Though the communities that are involved are all under stress, they are committed to ensuring young people do well despite the challenges. Our goal here is to show that resilience isn’t just something that is inside individuals. It is something that one’s community and environment makes possible.”

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research awards research grants through a competitive application and review process. 

 “Defeating the challenges associated with long-term mental health issues is key to overcoming adversity. Much-needed suicide prevention and mental health strategies are empowering youth, enhancing their resiliency to cope with their challenging environments. Dr. Michael Ungar and his team’s resilience research extends a lifeline to members of our most vulnerable communities. Their team is creating a future in which young people can not only survive, but thrive; going on to live healthy and productive lives, and taking their rightful place in society.”

Dr. Steven Hoffman

Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health


About the Resilience Research Centre

Since 2002, the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University has provided an important research hub for the study of well-being in contexts of adversity.  Led by Dr. Michael Ungar, Professor of Social work at Dalhousie University and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience, the Centre explores pathways to resilience across cultures with a focus on children and youth in more than a dozen countries. The Centre collaborates with various local, national and international institutions to carry out innovative research on protective factors and processes across the lifespan; conducts evaluations of programs pertaining to the well-being of children, youth and families; and provides resilience measurement tools and training in the form of workshops and conferences. Through its partnerships with researchers, policymakers and clinicians around the globe, the Centre has built a world-renowned resource hub of resilience expertise and tools to support young people, families and communities on their path to psychological, social, cultural and physical well-being.

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