Nancy Heath

Title: 
Dr.
Academic title(s): 

James McGill Professor
Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Program Director, Human Development

Research Partner, Centre of Excellence for Mental Health (CEMH), Lester B. Pearson School Board
Co-founder, Co-director of Self-Injury Outreach and Support (SiOS)
Associate Member, Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW)

Contact Information
Email address: 
nancy.heath [at] mcgill.ca
Phone: 
514-398-3439
Department: 
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Degree(s): 

Ph.D., University of Toronto
M.Ed., University of Ottawa
B.A., McGill University

Research areas: 
Mental health in schools
Enhancing mental health resilience
Non-suicidal self-injury
Current research: 

Our research team is committed to conducting both applied and basic research addressing issues of mental health resilience in students of all ages. We focus on issues related to mental health in elementary, secondary, post-secondary educational settings; examining stress and coping, mindfulness, non-suicidal self-injury and problematic online gaming. We are very committed to outreach and support of youth/young adults who are struggling. To this end our team provides workshops and online outreach and training around issues related to students’ mental health at every age.

Recent Research Grants

Heath, N. L. (PI), Finn, C., Bloom, E., Pereira, L., & Roberts, E. Mental health in the classroom: Professional development for school personnel on the management and understanding of anxiety and depression in our schools. Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec (MELS) Program to Support the Professional Development of School Staff 2012-2016

Bloom, E., Heath, N. L., Roberts, E., Shapiro, A., & McDonough, R. (2014-2016).  Building stress resilience in students with a school-based delivery of a cognitive- behavioral and mindfulness stress management program. Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec (MELS) Action Research 2014-2016

Duncan, L., Heath, N. L., & Talwar, V. Selective use of technology-based and face-to-face communication for positive and negative information and affect sharing among adolescents.Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant 2015-2017

Lewis, S. P., Heath, N. L. (Co-PIs) & Knowledge Users: Bloom, E., DeStefano, J., & Short, K. e-Training for self-injury: An online knowledge dissemination initiative for school mental health professionals. Canadian Institutes of Health Research Dissemination Grant 2013-2016

Heath, N. L.(PI) & Lewis, S. P. Evaluation of an Online Training Program for School Mental Health Professionals for Non-Suicidal Self-Injury. SSHRC-CIHR McGill Internal Grant 2013-2015

Heath, N. L. (PI), Finn, C., Bloom, E., Pereira, L., & Roberts, E. Mental Health in the Classroom: Professional Development for School Personnel on the Management and Understanding of Anxiety and Depression in Our Schools. Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec (MELS) Program to Support the Professional Development of School Staff 2012-2014

Heath, N. L. (PI). Predicting the initiation, escalation, and termination of non-suicidal self-injury during adjustment to secondary school. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, 2009-2013

2009-2016 James McGill Research Award, McGill University

 

Graduate supervision: 

Dr. Heath welcomes all student inquiries concerning graduate supervision in relevant areas (mental health in the schools) at nancy.heath [at] mcgill.ca. When emailing her for potential supervision, you should attach the following: a current curriculum vitae, your CGPA., GRE results (if available), the program you are applying to and the reasons why you might want to work with the team. If your file is a good match for our team, Dr. Heath will arrange to speak with you further either by phone or in person. In addition all applicants are encouraged to email our graduate students with questions.*NEW* In June 2011, Dr. Heath was awarded the Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE) Mentorship Award: “A tribute in recognition of outstanding support for graduate students in education.”

Supervision Style

I have supervised over 50 graduate students in the 20 years I have been at McGill. Some enter the program planning to be practitioners (school psychologists, educational consultants) and others plan to pursue an academic/research career. I try to keep the individual student's ultimate career goals in mind and tailor the student's experience with the team to allow them to graduate with the best possible Curriculum Vitae to meet their goals while maximizing their chances to obtain funding.

The exceptional track record of my graduate students is indicative of the success of our team model in providing support. My students are consistently top ranked within the department for their research productivity and department citizenship.

Our team is research intensive, so all of my students are closely involved in a variety of research projects. We work using an apprenticeship model where students collaborate on projects, with senior students supporting junior students. There are a variety of research areas within the lab and new students choose to focus primarily in one of these areas. Students work initially as a member of a team, and gradually adopt more of a leadership role.

I believe that the student-supervisor relationship is really about a personality and work style match. My strengths are that I enjoy my students and love to discuss all kinds of things with them. I devote energy to mentoring my students in both their research and clinical development, so that they succeed remarkably well in obtaining scholarships, internships and employment.

As a researcher and professor who is also happily married and the mother of a teenager and a young adult, I have a life outside academia (!), and understand that my students do as well. I encourage students to be honest about their life demands so that we can plan a successful graduate career that allows them to balance academic and other life demands in a realistic manner. We do many team building activities including socials, professional development activities, even restorative yoga and rock climbing! Our team is a community and we support each other despite the natural competitiveness of graduate school.

The challenges students face in working with me include my intensive work habits, tight deadlines and high expectations. I have high standards and expect my students to meet them. Of all my students, those who have the most positive experience working with me, are those who have a genuine interest in our areas of research, and enjoy working independently and taking initiative. As our team takes a collaborative approach to research, anyone interested in working with us should be willing to actively engage in discussions and activities that may address any one of the projects underway by team (not solely in their focus area) and have good interpersonal skills.

 

Selected publications: 

Selected Recent Publications

*indicates a student

Shapiro, A.*, Heath, N. L., & Carsley, D.* (in press). Evaluation of StressOFF Strategies: A single-session school-based stress management program for adolescents. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion

Gholamrezaei, M.*, DeStefano, J., & Heath, N. L. (in press). Nonsuicidal self-injury across cultures and ethnic and racial minorities: A review. International Journal of Psychology

Duggan, J. M.*, Heath, N. L., & Hiu, T.** (2015).  A One Year Longitudinal Investigation of Objectified Body Consciousness and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Among Adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 9:21,1-12 . doi:10.1186/s13034-015-0052-9

Carsley, D.*, Heath, N. L., & Fajnerova, S.* (2015). Effectiveness of a classroom mindfulness coloring activity for test anxiety in children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 31(3), 239-255.  doi: 10.1080/15377903.2015.1056925

Emery, A. A.*, Toste, J. R., & Heath, N. L. (2015). The balance of intrinsic need satisfaction across contexts as a predictor of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 39(5), 753-765. doi: 10.1007/s11031-015-9491-0

Lewis, S. P., & Heath, N. L. (2015). Medical progress report: Non-suicidal self-injury among youth. The Journal of Pediatrics, 166(3), 526-530. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.11.062

Toste, J. R.*, Heath, N. L., Connor, C. M., & Peng, P. (2015). Reconceptualizing teacher-student relationships: Applicability of the working alliance within classroom contexts. The Elementary School Journal.

Dugan, N.*, Ryan, J.*, Rogers, M., & Heath, N. L. (2015). Parental involvement in children’s learning: The role of children’s emotion regulation. Journal of Interpersonal Relations, Intergroup Relations and Identity, 8, 71-79.

Hanania, J.**, Heath, N. L., Emery, A.,* Toste, J. R.*, & Daoud, F. (2015). Non-suicidal self-injury among adolescents in Amman, Jordan.  Archives of Suicide Research, 19, 260-274.  doi:10.1080/13811118.2014.915778

Toste, J. R.*, Bloom, E. L., & Heath, N. L. (2014). Differential role of classroom working alliance in predicting school-related outcomes for students with and without high-incidence disabilities. The Journal of Special Education. 48, 135-148. doi: 10.1177/0022466912458156

Shapiro, A. J., & Heath, N. L. (2014). Teen stress in our schools: A single-session program to improve coping skills. Education Canada.

Lewis, S. P., & Heath, N. L. (2013). Five things to know about non-suicidal self-injury. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(6), 505. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.120969

Sornberger, M. J.*, Heath, N. L., Toste, J. R., & Smith, N. G. (2013). Non-suicidal self-injury, coping strategies, and sexual orientation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(6), 571-583. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21947

Heath, N. L., & Lewis, S. P. (2013). Non-suicidal self-injury in our schools, from research to practice: An introduction to the special issue. School Psychology Forum, 7(4), 89-92.

Duggan, J. M.*, Toste, J. R.,* & Heath, N. L. (2013). The contribution of emotional regulation difficulties and body image to engagement in NSSI. Psychiatry Research, 206, 256-264.

Shapiro, A. J.,* Heath, N. L., & Roberts, E. F. (2013). Treatment of non-suicidal self-injury: Critical review and implications for school applications. School Psychology Forum, 7(4), 121-135.

De Stefano, J., Atkins, S., Noble, R.*, & Heath, N. L. (2012). Am I competent enough to be doing this?: A qualitative study of trainees’ experiences working with clients who self-injure. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 1, 1-17. doi: 10.1080/09515070.2012.698981

Lewis, S. P., Heath, N. L., Sornberger, M. J., & Arbuthnott, A. (2012). Helpful or harmful? An examination of viewers' responses to non-suicidal self-injury videos on YouTube. Journal of Adolescent Health, 1-6, doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.01.013

Sornberger, M. J., Heath, N. L., Toste, J. R., & McLouth, R. (2012). Non-suicidal self-injury and gender: Patterns of prevalence, methods, and locations among adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2012.0088.x

Lewis, S. P., Heath, N. L., Michal, N., & Duggan, J. M. (2012). Non-suicidal self-injury, youth, and the Internet: What mental health professionals need to know. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 6:13 (March, 2012).

 

Books and monographs

Nixon, M. K., & Heath, N. L. (2009). Self-injury in youth: The essential guide to assessment and intervention. New York, NY: Routledge Press.

Articles/chapers in books and monographs

Carsley, D.*, & Heath, N. L. (2015). How can educational leaders promote mental health in schools? In D. Griffiths & J. Portelli (Eds.), Key Questions for Educational Leaders. Burlington, Ontario: Word & Deed Publishing Inc.

Heath, N. L., Toste, J. R.*, Moore, T., & Symons, F. J. (in press). Self-injury. In T. K. McInerny, H. M. Adam, D. E. Campbell, D. M. Kamat, T. G. DeWitt, & J. M. Foy (Eds.), American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care.2nd Ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Heath, N. L., Toste, J. R.*, Moore, T., & Symons, F. J. (2015).Chapter 68:  Self-harm (pp. 799-809). In  H. M. Adam  & J. M. Foy (Eds.), Signs and Symptoms in Pediatrics. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Heath, N. L., Toste, J. R.*, & MacPhee, S.-D.* (2014). Prevention of non-suicidal self-injury. In M. Nock (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Suicide and Self-Injury (pp.397-408). New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.
 

 

Selected talks and presentations: 

*indicates student

Carsley, D.*, Mills, D. J.*, Shapiro, A. J.*, Bloom, E., Roberts, E., & Heath, N. L. (October, 2015). Evaluating an educator delivered mindfulness-based stress management program for adolescents. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the International Association for Youth Mental Health, IAYMH, Montreal, QC.

Mills, D. J.*, Carsley, D.*, Mettler, J.*, De Riggi, M. E.*, & Heath, N. L. (October, 2015). The role of mindfulness in predicting non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the International Association for Youth Mental Health, IAYMH, Montreal, QC.

Carsley, D.*, Mills, D. J.*, Heath, N. L., & Gomez-Garibello, C.* (August, 2015). The importance of mindfulness in risk for high school dropout. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, APA, Toronto, ON.

Mills, D. J.*, Carsley, D. *, Heath, N. L., & Gomez-Garibello, C. (August, 2015). Differences in anxiety, depression, and mindfulness across problematic gaming groups. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, APA, Toronto, ON.

Carsley, D. *, Heath, N. L., & Fajnerova, S. * (February, 2015). Mindfulness-based art reduces children’s test anxiety: Fact or fiction? Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, NASP, Orlando, FL.

Fajnerova , S. *, Emery, A. A. *, Noble, R. *, & Heath, N. (February, 2015). Needs satisfaction and dropout prevention in high school students.  Poster session presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, NASP, Orlando, FL.

Moumne, S. L.*, Heath, N. L., Schaub, K., & Nixon, M. K. (October, 2014). Understanding addictive features of non-suicidal self-injury: Findings from an adolescent community sample. Poster presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, San Diego, CA.

Han, X.*, Carsley, D.*, Gholamrezaei, M.*, Kacmaz, G.*, & Heath, N. L. (November, 2014). Cultural considerations in supporting students with disabilities: Teacher recommendations. Workshop session presented at the Annual Convention of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, QPAT, Montreal, QC.

Emery, A. A.*, Carsley, D.*, Heath, N. L., & Moïse, L. (November, 2014). Le rôle du support à l’autonomie dans la relation entre le stress et l’automutilation non-suicidaire chez les adolescents. Poster  presented at the Annual Convention of the Association Québécoise des Psychologues Scolaires, AQPS, Trois-Rivières, QC.

Mills, D. J.*, Shapiro, A. J.*, Sornberger, M. J.*, & Heath, N. L. (August, 2014). Differences in Self-Perception Associated with Alternative Measures of Video Game Use. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, APA, Washington, DC.

De Riggi, M. E.*, Gholamrezaei, M.*, Mills, D. J.*, Shapiro, A. J.*, & Heath, N. L. (August, 2014). Changes in adolescent negative coping strategies: Do you have to get worse before you get better? Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, APA, Washington, DC.

Mills, D. J.*, Heath, N. L., Sornberger, M. J.*, & Shapiro, A. J.* (June, 2014). Gender differences in the relationship between measures of video game use and self-perception. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, CPA, Vancouver, BC.

Joly, M.*, Heath, N. L., & Noble, R. N.* (June, 2014). Non-suicidal self-injury in young adolescents: Patterns of attachment with parents and peers. Poster presented at the International Society for Self-Injury (ISSS), Chicago, IL.

Moumne, S.*, Schaub, K.*, Heath, N. L., Mechutiuc, T.*, & Nixon, M. K. (June, 2014). Deconstructing heterogeneity in non-Suicidal self-injury: The clinical utility of self-reported addictive features. Poster presented at the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury, ISSS, Chicago, IL.

Gholamrezaei, M.*, Panaghi, L., Mirmohamadi, F., Moumne, S.*, & Heath, N. L. (June, 2014). Non-suicidal self-injury among Iranian university students: Prevalence and characteristics. Poster presented at the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury, ISSS, Chicago, IL.

Fajnerova, S.*, Gholamrezaei, M.*, De Riggi, M.*, & Heath, N. L. (May, 2014). Navigating multiple cultures in adolescence: Relation between culture, stress and well-being during adjustment to high school. Poster presented at the Development 2014: A Canadian Conference on Developmental Psychology, Ottawa, ON.

De Riggi, M. E.*, Shapiro, A. J.*, Gholamrezaei, M.*, & Heath, N. L. (2014, May). Supporting students with depression and anxiety in the classroom: Perceived challenges and barriers. Poster presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, CSSE, St. Catharines, ON.

Joly, M.*, Heath, N. L., Noble, N.*, & Fajnerova, S.* (2014, March). Self-Injury in Young Adolescents: Trust, Communication, and Alienation Difficulties with Peers. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the Société Québécoise pour la Recherche en Psychologie, SQRP, Montreal, QC.

Shapiro, A. J.*, Mettler, J.*, Carsley, D.*, Hu, T.*, & Heath, N. L. (2014, March). Adolescents' Perspectives on Stress Management Strategy Use Following a Brief School Intervention. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the Societe Quebecoise pour la Recherche en Psychologie, SQRP, Montreal, QC.

Rogers, M., Wiener, J., Heath, N. L., & Noble, R. N.* (March, 2014). Factor structure and validity of a new scale to assess adolescents' perceptions of parental involvement in learning: The Parental Support for Learning Scale: Adolescent Short Form. Poster presented at the 2014 Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting, SRA, Austin, TX.