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U of R psychology professor receives the prestigious Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research

News Release Release Date: November 17, 2020 9:15 a.m.

University of Regina Professor of Psychology and Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton has been named  as the 2020 winner of The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research. The announcement was made public today by the two Ottawa-based organizations that sponsor the prize, The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada. 

“The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research is awarded annually to an outstanding researcher under the age of 45 in the field of mental health, to recognize, encourage and support them as they pursue their research interests and goals,” says the President of The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, Dr. Florence Dzierszinski. Dr. Carleton exemplifies the innovation, impact, collaboration, and excellence that we seek to encourage with this award. Not only has he contributed significantly to knowledge about the impact of trauma on mental wellness, he has effectively translated this knowledge into solutions that improve the lives of individual public safety personnel and their families.” 

The annual national prize will provide $100,000 in funding to Dr. Carleton, who has demonstrated excellence in research as well as the ability to work collaboratively with his peers and research teams in other disciplines and institutions both within the University of Regina and across Canada. 

“My team and I have been working hard to respond to the needs of the Public Safety sector to provide the best practical scientific evidence that will lead to real and imminent positive impact on the mental health of all public safety personnel,” says the 2020 award winner Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton. “This award is a strong validation of that work and encourages the team to continue to find new and better ways to carry on with their work to address post-traumatic stress injuries, providing much needed support to PSP and their families.” 

“As I congratulate Dr. Carleton on this prestigious award, I want to highlight that mental health research is a key priority for the University of Regina,” says U of R Vice-President (Research), Dr. Kathy McNutt. “We are pleased that Dr. Carleton’s research is helping to break new ground in understanding the effects of trauma on PSP health and well-being. It makes it even more meaningful that this is the first time the award has gone to a researcher outside of the U15 universities and the first time it’s been awarded to a professor in Arts.” 

In the past five years, Dr. Carleton has received a number of research grants and awards for various studies focused on post-traumatic stress injuries and improving the health and well-being of Canada’s public safety personnel. This includes police officers, career and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, correctional employees, border services personnel, and public-safety communications officials, living with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress injuries.  

In December 2017, he was awarded an $8.9 million contract by the federal government to conduct a study on the effects of policing on the mental health of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers. 

He was recently awarded $989,925 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grants to conduct a three-year study that involves adapting the framework developed during the RCMP study and expanding it to support all public safety personnel. 

The three-year project received a variety of additional support, including $47,250 from the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency to support its technology needs, as well as a total of almost $795,000 of in-kind support from public safety partners in police, fire, and paramedics, along with the RCMP, and the University of Regina. 

The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada plan to honour the 2020 award recipient during a virtual event on December 3. To learn more about the award, the funding institutions, and previous recipients, please visit: 

To learn more about Dr. Carleton and his work at CIPSRT, please visit: 

Interviews with Dr. Carleton can be arranged through the listed media contact. 


About the University of Regina:

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,500 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.



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