Researcher in health policy and management
Gillian is an assistant professor of health policy and management at a university and has been trained in health research methods and economics. Her research focuses on issues in mental health policy and service delivery to support the development of coordinated, person-centred and recovery-oriented care for youth. While working on a national strategy for a mental health organization, Gillian realized how impactful individual voices, whether it be patients, families, or service providers, can be in shaping mental health policy. This experience has helped to shape her approach to engaging users in research and to develop her research program, which focuses on co-designing mental health services with youth, families, and health providers. Gillian’s experience to date with approaches that include co-design has been positive and she feels highly rewarded when she observes the more equal sharing of power amongst participants, and a shift towards all parties working together towards a common goal. Gillian hopes that the co-design of mental health services will become a more permanent approach within healthcare delivery organizations. In the meantime, she recommends that research teams seek help and guidance from other experienced groups when engaging in co-design processes. As well, researchers should be flexible during the co-design process, as things may arise that were not accounted for in the planning that can change the course of the project.
- Impact on Research – GillianResearchers can start to think in new ways and ‘outside the box’ by engaging patients, according to Gillian.
- Challenging Experiences -GillianGillian discusses how it can be difficult to manage emotional situations or conversations, but the end result is worth the effort
- Valuing contributions – GillianYouth participation is encouraged in Gillian’s team by checking back and ensuring logistical support
- Skills for partnership – Gillian (2)Gillian speaks about the value of patients who can have strong opinions, while respecting other’s perspective
- Skills for partnership – GillianPatients’ lived experience should be front and centre in research, according to Gillian
- Motivations – GillianGillian’s previous policy work influenced the development of her research program