Two York students were selected as the recipients of the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship, which recognizes graduate students for their outstanding efforts and commitment to the study of mental health.
Each year, the Ontario government selects two students enrolled in full-time graduate programs at a publicly funded Ontario university to receive the $7,500 award. This year, York students Amber Reid and Edward Hon-Sing Wong will receive the award that honours of Hilary M. Weston, the province’s 26th Lieutenant Governor.
Reid, a masters student at York University and social justice advocate, will receive the award for her research on mental health and its relation to poverty, gender and criminalization as well as her focus on disability studies.
Hon-Sing Wong, who is entering the PhD social work program at York University, will receive the award for his research into the processes and discourses behind police interventions in the field of mental health. This includes studying how mental health workers and survivors experience and interpret police intervention.
Investing in students whose work will improve the lives of those living with mental health disorders is part of the government’s plan to help everyone realize their full potential.
“These two remarkable students represent the kind of innovative thinking that we need to help us develop the best mental health treatment programs for Ontarians,” said Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. “Their dedication to mental health studies will have a significant impact on the lives of individuals and families who live with the effects of mental illness.”
Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and/or substance abuse challenge at some point in their lifetime, with one in 40 Ontarians experiencing a serious mental illness. This year, Mental Health Week runs from May 2 to 8.