Rachel Herron

Dr. Rachel Herron is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Brandon University, a Tier II CRC in Rural and Remote Mental Health, and founding Director of the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health. Rachel works with researchers, students and community partners to develop solutions to rural mental health, ageing, and care needs. Her research examines safety in settings of care, social inclusion, the diversity of experiences living with mental health problems.

Rachel’s research is collaborative and community based. It involves using a range of different methods such as analyzing documents, interviews, focus groups, diaries, and surveys to understand rural mental health and well-being as well as what systematic changes can be made to improve care and quality of life in rural places.

Current research projects

Safe Places for Aging and Care Project

Safe Places for Aging and Care is a four-year project, involving researchers at Brandon University, Carleton University, Dalhousie University, University of Manitoba, and St. Francis Xavier University. The research aims to improve care environments for older adults and those who care for them. The overall goal of this project is to identify how and why features of care environments influence violence in home and residential care settings with the aim of improving violence prevention strategies across long-term care.  

More information on the project is available here.

Interested in participating in the project? Visit tinyurl.com/safeplacesstudy to participate in the survey, or contact SafePlaces@brandonu.ca for more information.

Improving Social Inclusion through Sharing Dance

Co-Led by Dr. Mark Skinner and Dr. Rachel Herron and in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School, this innovative research project is advancing collaborative arts-based ageing research. The project is developing new knowledge about supporting social inclusion and reducing stigma in relation to dementia as well as the challenges and opportunities of remote program delivery to rural places. Read more about this project here.

Rural Mental Health during COVID-19

On May 11, 2020 The Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health at Brandon University announced a research project to study the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of rural Manitobans. Led by an interdisciplinary team of Brandon University Scholars, this project aims to understand the long-term influence of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups during the pandemic, particularly frontline workers and older adults. You can read some of the early findings of this research here.

Changing rural masculinities and mental wellness

Driven by an interdisciplinary team of researchers in collaboration with Brandon Friendship Centre, Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples Council, Manitoba farm rural and northern support services, and Westman Immigrant Services this project sought to understand men’s diverse mental health experiences and resource needs in the context of the prairies. Read more about the research process and some of the study findings here.