Finding the metaphorical road back to health: Understanding the illness experience and locating the means of recovery

MSFHR Distinguished Scholar Michael Chandler is researching individual and cultural factors that could help reduce the high rate of suicide among youth in certain First Nations communities. His research is directed at understanding the ways cultural differences help or hinder young people’s ability to insulate themselves from risks of self-injury and suicide. With Dr. Chandler as his supervisor, Jesse Phillips is building on the focus of this research by examining how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth view the relationship between their health and well-being, and the health and well-being of their community and culture as a whole. Jesse is exploring the notion that Aboriginal youth understand their health and well-being in ways that are more rooted in community life and cultural tradition than is ordinarily the case for non-Aboriginal youth. Achieving a better appreciation of such cultural difference could work to ensure that the health concerns and ability of First Nations youth are more adequately met by means sensitive to their cultural diversity.