Researcher recognized for helping persons with spinal cord injury

By Costa Maragos Posted: December 8, 2017 1:30 p.m.

Swati Mehta (c) received the 2017 Santé Award for Top Research Fellowship in Socio-Health Research. Also pictured are Don Somers (l) Board Chair of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and Eric Olauson (r), MLA for Saskatoon University.
Swati Mehta (c) received the 2017 Santé Award for Top Research Fellowship in Socio-Health Research. Also pictured are Don Somers (l) Board Chair of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and Eric Olauson (r), MLA for Saskatoon University. Photo courtesy of Nikki Desjardins

Swati Mehta is already making a difference early in her research career.

Mehta’s work has been recognized by a key research funding agency in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation has awarded Mehta the 2017 Santé Award for Top Research Fellowship in Socio-Health Research.

Mehta is one of six recipients of the award, handed out at a special event in Saskatoon on December 7.

The Excellence Awards, now into their 14th year, recognize the top-ranked applications from researchers and teams in the past year’s funding competitions.

Mehta ranked tops in the category of Research Fellowship in Socio-Health Research.

Mehta, working under the supervision of the U of R’s Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology. Mehta is working to improve mental health services for people with spinal cord injuries.

“Our funded researchers are the pride of our organization and we feel it’s important to take the time to recognize their success,” says Patrick Odnokon, CEO of Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. “Swati is a shining example of the great research talent that exists at the University of Regina and of the next generation of leaders in innovative solutions to the health challenges facing Saskatchewan.”

With key funding assistance from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Mehta is examining the effectiveness of the U of R’s internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy course for persons with spinal cord injury.

“Studies show that fewer than half of the people with spinal cord injuries have their emotional counseling needs met,” says Mehta.

Right now Mehta is seeking study participants.  

“Access to mental health services is a significant issue for people with spinal cord injury,” says Mehta. “My research project is providing a guided internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy course. The program provides skills and strategies to help people with spinal cord injury cope with thoughts and behaviours related to the injury and manage their overall emotional well-being. I believe the program will help to improve resiliency and quality of life for people with spinal cord injury and their caregivers.”

If you or someone you know has experienced a spinal cord injury, please visit the Online Therapy Unit website here to register for the course.

The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation is the provincial agency that provides the funding necessary to fuel a vibrant culture of health research and innovation for a stronger Saskatchewan.

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