Michelle Pavloff, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Can you describe your area of research and how it is helping address a health-related issue in Saskatchewan?
My area of research is rural mental health. I have two patient family partner (PFP) oriented research projects currently underway. The team PFPs have really taken the reigns and are leading these projects to better places. One project is supporting Saskatchewan farmer and rancher mental health. The other project is supporting rural Saskatchewan youth mental health.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
Working with the PFPs always leaves me feeling very optimistic, excited, and energized. The chance to improve mental health services in Saskatchewan is very rewarding.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The most challenging part of my work is the pressure to fix the system and accepting that if we can even move things a few degrees forward, that sometimes is enough.
How did you first become interested in this area of research? What inspires you to do the work that you do?
When I moved to rural Saskatchewan and started nursing in a rural area, I quickly learned that there are significant differences between urban and rural nursing and health care. I also realized that rural and farm culture is very different from urban culture; this is a thread I have started to weave through my research. My family and other rural Saskatchewan residents are my inspiration to move this research forward.
Where is your research headed in the next five years?
I would love to see significant changes to the way we deliver mental health services in rural Saskatchewan. I will continue to engage patient family partners in the research and find out what our participants really need from the healthcare system to meet their mental health needs in a way that is culturally appropriate.
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