Research Staff, Postdocs, and Students

Dr. Lauren Ban

Post Doctoral Research Associate with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

Lauren Ban, PhD (The University of Melbourne) is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Jewish General Hospital/McGill University. Her Ph.D. in social psychology explored folk perceptions of mental disorder among people with East Asian (primarily Chinese Singaporean) and Australian cultural backgrounds. Prior to completing her degree in psychology, Lauren completed a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English and Philosophy) and a course with the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis. Lauren is now undertaking post-doctoral research looking at alternative models of psychiatric assessment.

Gregory Brass

Doctoral Student in Anthropology at McGill and Research Assistant with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

Gregory Brass, BA (UBC), MA (McGill), is Anishnabeg (Saulteaux) from the Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan. He is a doctoral student in Anthropology at McGill University. His research project for his Master’s Degree was an ethnographic study that evaluated the cultural aspects of a psychotherapy program in a halfway house for First Nations men. His doctoral research will be an ethnographic study that investigates the social dimensions of cancers in Cree communities in the James Bay region of the province of Quebec. He has two daughters and lives in Kahnawake.

Dr. Stéphane Dandeneau

Scientific Coordinator and post-doctoral research associate with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

Stéphane Dandeneau, PhD (McGill University) is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Jewish General Hospital and Research Project Manager at MindHabits Inc. His recently completed PhD thesis consisted of stimulating research showing how modifying attentional patterns can have beneficial psychological, behavioural, and physiological outcomes. Dr. Dandeneau and colleagues recently published an influential article on this research in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2007), which has received significant media and academic attention due to its novel approach.

Along with conducting research in social cognitive psychology, Dr. Dandeneau has worked in the field of ethno-cultural psychology. With the financial help of La Fondation Baxter et Alma Ricard, Dr. Dandeneau collaborated with Maori researchers from Waikato University, New Zealand, and carried out a 2 month research project with the Waikato Tainui Tribal Council. He also worked in the Philippines with Tebtebba - one of the world’s most influential indigenous rights NGOs - as an intern on the United Nations Indigenous Indicators of Wellbeing project. With this project, Dr. Dandeneau assisted the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Meeting (May, 2006) as an intern to John Scott (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD), the Asian Regional Experts Meeting on Indigenous Indicators of Wellbeing in Manila, Philippines (August, 2006), and the International Experts Seminar on Indicators Relevant for Indigenous Peoples, the CBD and the Millennium Development Goals in Banaue, Philippines (March, 2006). Dr. Dandeneau is currently working with the Roots of Resilience study as a research coordinator and analyst. Dr. Dandeneau is Métis from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, currently living in Montreal.

Morgan Kahentonni Phillips

Research Assistant with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

Morgan Kahentonni Phillips is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from the community of Kahnawake and is of the wolf clan. She graduated with a BA Honours in Anthropology from Concordia University in June 2008, and is currently at the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia working through her M.A. in the area of Indigenous mental health research. She has been part of the Stories of Resilience research team since June 2007 as a Community-based Research Assistant. She is also a member of Kahnawake’s Health & Social Services Research Council (Onkwata’karitáhthsera) and McGill University’s School of Social Work First Nations & Inuit Steering Group. Morgan has a solid background in research and her culture and is a strong supporter of participatory research. She helps to ensure that community-based research is culturally appropriate for, and that research is done with the community, not in or about the community.

Darien Thira

Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology at the Felding Institute and Research Coordinator with Dr. Roderick McCormick

Darien is currently a Doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the Fielding Institute of Graduate Studies (where he is writing a dissertation related Aboriginal suicide resilience and social activism) and an Aboriginal resilience research coordinator at the University of British Columbia. He offers workshops in a variety of communications and crisis-related fields to non-native communities and serves as a community development/mental health consultant for many Aboriginal communities across Canada. He has previously served as a clinician with suicidal youth at Child and Youth Mental Health, as the Director of Community Education and Professional Development at the Vancouver Crisis Centre, as a crisis counsellor for youth and adults and with institutionalized youth in acute crisis. Darien has presented workshops at many local, national and international conferences in Canada, the States, and Australia. His accomplishments include the development of the Through the Pain suicide prevention program--used across the country and as a national program in Australia--and CHOICES, an international award-winning youth suicide awareness education video & seminar, used by more than 250 suicide prevention programs world-wide.

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