Path to involvement


So, I got involved with patient-oriented research, probably about four years ago. I can't even remember how it came by me. I think, I just saw, I do a lot of research on the internet anyway. I'm always looking to see what's out there. And, I think, I just saw them, the young group that was asking for a patient partner.

And, I'd been involved a little bit in patient advocacy work, at different places. And, I thought, "Okay. This could be interesting." I had thought of trying something in a research area. And, so, I became involved with the Primary Healthcare, a research with a program called ARC.

And, it was looking at how difficult it is at times, for people to get from the doctor's office to another sort of resource that he refers them to. And, why that was not happening? Why did people never make it? And, so, they wanted some patient partners to sort of weigh in on that.

And, I thought that was something that I could probably really address, not only from my personal experience, but, because of the work that I do. I certainly see a lot of the barriers that the people I work with deal with, trying to get to these other resources.

And, I think, a lot of times, doctors don't really come up with all the ways that people can't maybe get to a resource. And, probably don't even think of them, you know. So, there's so many things that, I think, the patient can bring to a research project that the researcher, just by their background or, their life experience may not even consider or, think of.

As someone that works with counselling, you know, you become aware of the experiences people have and, how difficult that can be for them. And, how, a lot of people aren't aware of those difficulties. And, so, I thought it was a great project to start with.

So, I became involved in that. And, around the same time, I also, I joined a research, on Suicide Prevention. And, I was kind of really interested in that as well. Certainly, the Mental Health aspect interests me quite a bit. I think, I'm pretty knowledgeable in that area. And, I've had my own personal mental health issues.

And, so, I joined up with that group. It was interesting, because, it was a huge difference between the two projects. I found that the ARC people, the Primary Healthcare people, really had some knowledge about what they were doing and, how they were going to engage with patient partners.

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