Research on teachers’ mental health presented on national stage

Dr. Melissa Corrente and Dr. Kristen Ferguson
(Left to Right) Dr. Melissa Corrente and Dr. Kristen Ferguson

Dr. Kristen Ferguson, Professor in the Schulich School of Education and  Dr. Melissa Corrente, instructor in the Schulich School of Education’s Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program, presented their research and toolkit on teacher mental health to teachers’ federations across Canada at the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) National Staff Conference in Ottawa, November 16-18, 2022.

Drs. Ferguson and Corrente are part of a $1.425 million project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research entitled, the “Healthy Professional Worker Partnership” led by Dr. Ivy Bourgeault at the University of Ottawa. Their research examines mental health, leaves of absence, and return to work across seven different professions. Dr. Ferguson is the teaching profession lead within the study, working alongside Dr. Corrente, and Dr. Susan Rodger from Western University.

The Healthy Professional Worker Partnership joins academic researchers with professional organizations to co-investigate the mental health experience of workers. Drs. Ferguson and Corrente have worked closely on this project in partnership with the CTF and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation since 2015.

At the CTF National Staff Conference, Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Corrente presented their research findings about the state of Canadian teachers’ mental health pre and post-COVID-19 pandemic. They also shared an online mental health toolkit for teachers that they created based on findings from the Healthy Professional Worker Partnership.

The toolkit, entitled “Mental Health CARE (Compassionate, Accessible, Responsive, Evidence-Based) at Work,” is an online repository of vetted resources specifically geared to teacher mental health. The toolkit is an important contribution to the teaching profession as pre-existing resource compilations focus on student mental health rather than teacher mental health. Teachers’ federation representatives from across Canada were the first to view and experience the toolkit and provide feedback to the research team. The toolkit will have a wide launch to the teaching profession in 2023.

For more information on the Healthy Professional Worker Partnership, visit