Supporting emotional well-being and access to health care of Syrian mothers: A collaboration amongst community stakeholders, researchers and research users

Research co-leads:

  • Joyce O'Mahony
    Thompson Rivers University
  • Nancy Clark
    University of Victoria

Research user co-leads:

  • Shahin Kassam
    University of Victoria
  • Khim Tran
    Options Community Service

Team member:

  • Jessie Bauer
    Thompson Rivers University

This project’s purpose is to hold a symposium followed by several advisory board meetings. The key objective is to bring health researchers and research users together to share ideas and plan for activities regarding Syrian mothers support and access to health care. This first step connects to a larger proposed longitudinal study application (MSFHR Health Professional-Investigator Program 2018) in planning research and building a strong foundation of trust and relationships within the community. The research team has been established and will complement the two funding opportunities. The proposed activities align with British Columbia’s health system priority areas of i) enhanced access to effective primary health care and; ii) mental health care.

Activities will focus on community engagement, a symposium (face to face event), and development of an advisory board consisting of key stakeholders and gatekeepers of the Syrian community. The advisory board promotes knowledge exchange about the aims of this research and to build dialogue about how the community might benefit from the research findings. Advisory board members will include Syrian mothers and members of the Syrian community, settlement workers, health care professionals, non-government organizations, and immigrant service representatives. As a point of entry, this research team has existing relationships with key stakeholders working at Bridge Clinic, Options Community Services and other immigration service centers already working with Syrian mothers and their families.

Anticipated outcomes are:

  1. Develop a comprehensive community engagement plan.
  2. Form an advisory board.
  3. Provide important and foundational knowledge for future research opportunities with the Syrian population.
  4. Give graduate research trainees invaluable experience in community development and engagement processes.