I received my MA (2004) and PhD (2010) in forensic psychology and law from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. I received my BA (Hons) in psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa (2001).
Prior to joining Laurier, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario (2010) where I contributed to the Mental Health Commission of Canada National Research Team on the At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project on Mental Health and Homelessness. I also served as a research officer with BC Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission (Port Coquitlam, BC).
The research that I conduct specializes in criminological issues that involve people living with mental illness. The nexus between mental illness and community safety is a timely issue as demonstrated by increased Canadian policy and media coverage on the subject. Research in this area is vital to assist in the development of evidence-based practices for services that represent formal and informal frontline mental health workers (e.g., police services, hospitals). I conduct research that contributes to identifying risk and protective factors for psychiatric decompensation, victimization and violence perpetration among this vulnerable population in community and correctional settings.
Currently, I am the lead investigator on a SSHRC-funded research initiative that examines police service encounters with people living with mental illness. Using observational and interview techniques, this project examines police decision-making in mental health-related calls for service, client perceptions of police encounters, and how the police service collaborates with other community agencies on mental health issues.