September 2020 Update from the Department of Psychiatry Research and Scholarly Activity Committee



Hello again from the Department’s Research and Scholarly Activity Committee!  We’re pleased to provide you with an update on our committee’s work to support residents’ research and scholarly activity endeavours. This committee is responsible for ensuring that our department’s residency program meets Royal College training objectives for research and scholarly activity. Specific responsibilities include the identification, development, enhancement, promotion, monitoring and evaluation of resident scholarly activity projects, and ensuring that objectives relating to research and scholarly activity are integrated throughout our educational program. The committee meets quarterly, at which time resident submissions of their final scholarly activity reports are reviewed.

Residents, for your information if you’re preparing your final report submission, the next scheduled meetings are on September the 21st and November 19th 2020.

Faculty, we have a resident who is seeking a departmental supervisor for his scholarly activity project. Dr. Benjamin Roth is a PGY 2, here’s a note from him:

Many people with symptoms of anxiety and depression seek out support at religious institutions, either in combination or instead of accessing formal mental health resources. Many religious communities have the express goal of aiding those who are ill and suffering, but may not have access to the evidence-based tools of the mental health field. For this reason, it appears that collaboration between religious institutions and the mental health community could increase access to mental health resources for a portion of the population without adding significant cost to the medical system. We know that therapeutic interventions can be quite effective in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions. Some of these interventions, specifically manualized interventions, are well suited to be delivered by trained lay-people in community settings. I expect that if religious institutions were to deliver evidence-based mental health interventions, that this could benefit many people and help religious institutions meet their own goals, furthermore it may reduce bias towards mental health diagnoses. My goal is to review the literature to answer the question of whether mental health interventions provided by religious institutions (e.g., churches) could be helpful. I hope to include studies with outcomes of reduction in mental health symptoms (anxiety, depression) or reduction in stigma (for interventions that are not targeted at symptomatic individuals). I would like to focus on Western nations, as their religious communities and mental health resources are likely to be more similar to Canada. I have secured a co-supervisor with experience developing psychoeducational resources that were delivered in local churches to ensure that the finished product could be helpful for both the mental health community and religious institutions who may be considering the introduction of an evidence-based intervention.

Faculty members, please note that Dr. Roth is looking for a supervisor to support him with his literature review methods, it’s not necessary for you to have expertise in this specific research area (which will be provided by his identified co-supervisor). You can contact Ben direct via

* You can find copies of all relevant documentation relating to scholarly activity on the department website here:

** If you have questions or need support relating to scholarly activity please contact Dr. Erin Michalak, Associate Program Director, Scholarly Activity, via