University of Guelph entrance wallThis week is national Mental Illness Awareness Week, an annual event designed to raise awareness about mental health issues and the realities of mental illness.

The week coincides with World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, coordinated by the World Health Organization, whose focus this year is on suicide prevention.

The University of Guelph has several faculty who specialize in mental health topics and are available for interviews:


Prof. Andria Jones-Bitton
Department of Population Medicine
Phone: 519 824-4120, Ext. 54786
Jones-Bitton studies farmer mental health and recently completed a survey that found nearly half of farmers in Canada have high stress, and many had higher levels of depression and anxiety. She and her team are developing a mental health literacy program for agricultural workers.
Jones-Bitton is also studying mental health issues among veterinarians and veterinary students.

Prof. Stephen Lewis
Department of Psychology

Phone:  519-824-4120, Ext. 53299
Lewis specializes in clinical child and adolescent psychology and his research focuses on self-injury and related mental health difficulties among youth and emerging adults. He examines online communication about self-injury, self-injury in educational settings (e.g., schools, universities), self-injury recovery and stigma associated with self-injury. He aims to empower and advocate for individuals with experience of self-injury.  Lewis’s work led to the development of Self-injury Outreach & Support (SiOS), which provides recovery-focused resources for individuals and their supporters, including family, partners, friends and professionals.

Prof. Ryan Broll
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Phone: 519 824-4120, Ext. 53554
Broll studies victimization and resilience among vulnerable populations. He is currently studying resilience and post-traumatic growth among youth who have experienced bullying or cyberbullying, and has previously studied the mental health consequences of cyberbullying among Indigenous youth.

Prof. Michèle Preyde
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Phone: 519-824-4120, Ext. 58599

Preyde studies practitioner-researcher collaboration with a focus on health and mental health. Current projects involve children and youth accessing intensive mental health services, and the psychosocial impacts of illness for vulnerable populations. She has recently looked at health and social behaviours of youth with mental illness.