SKEENA HEARTBEAT SOCIETY

Partners with Dr. Jennifer Mervyn

CAMH has acknowledged Dr. Jennifer Mervyn as one of the Top150 Leading Canadians For Mental Health. Registered psychologist Dr. Jennifer Mervyn’s use of traditional Indigenous approaches to counselling and her commitment to ensuring Indigenous youth have a voice has helped transform relationships between Indigenous children, their parents, their communities, the police, and mental health and primary care professionals across British Columbia. Not content to restrict her impact solely to her patients, Dr. Mervyn is also a well-respected educator committed to teaching the next generation of health care practitioners how to provide culturally informed and safe counselling in Indigenous communities.

Dr. Mervyn has used sweat lodges, traditional feasts, sharing circles, Truth and Reconciliation Commission reading challenges, and invited elders to speak in her classroom to connect developing practitioners to the value of Indigenous ways of knowing. Along with the BC First Nations Health Authority, she is currently leading a dialogue with the BC Council on Health Promotion around a commitment to culturally safe healthcare for Indigenous peoples across the province. Now a sought-after speaker on Indigenous youth mental health, Dr. Mervyn will not accept an engagement unless a youth leader is welcome to join her in a co-presentation, just one of the many ways she is helping transform Indigenous youth mental health in her home province.

Hope through Understanding the Neuroscience of Toxic Stress Presentation by Dr. Jennifer Mervyn - Terrace November 25, 2021  

My daughter and I were fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Mervyn on the effects of trauma.

It filled us with hope. She explained the way the brain changes and adapts. Dr. Mervyn explained how trauma affects the brain and puts us at greater risk for problems such as substance abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts. But, the effects of trauma on the brain can be healed by spending time in nature as well as by having positive experiences with other people. She shared stories of the homeless and at-risk youth whose lives were transformed by being given a voice, hope and being shown that their lives matter. 

Her message is powerful and inspiring. 

I'm grateful for hearing her talk and her words will forever remain in my heart.

Jennifer LaFontaine