A clinical health psychology faculty member works with a child patient.

Our faculty are licensed psychologists who are leaders in developing and delivering high-quality, evidence-based psychological services to Manitobans. They are engaged in a diverse range of research, with local, national and international collaborations.

Department faculty are medical staff, sited in hospitals and health centres in the health regions across Manitoba. They provide lifespan assessment and treatment services for toddlers to seniors with mental health conditions, developmental disorders, medical disease and injury.

Teaching and research are integrated with clinical service.

What we offer

In addition to our residency program, the Department of Clinical Health Psychology also provides UGME teaching (College of Medicine), resident teaching with other clinical departments and clinical practica for advanced doctoral psychology trainees.

Our story

Watch a brief video to learn more about our department and what we offer.

department Events

Contact Kate Walsh for registration information on upcoming events.

  • Lecturer in front of an audience
  • Grand Rounds

    The Department of Clinical Health Psychology Grand Rounds is a learning series for residents, medical students, psychologists, physicians and other health professionals.

    Presenters include local, national and international experts covering a broad range of topics in  clinical psychology, including approaches to evidence-based clinical care, learning and research. A question and answer period follows each session.

    Grand Rounds is usually held at 3:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month from September to June. View the events calendar for full details.

  • Dr. Robert Martin.
  • Robert Martin Memorial Lecture

    Dr. Robert Martin (1926-2014) was the first head of Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba, serving in that role for more than two decades.

    Dr. Martin was considered a visionary for the role of psychologists in medical schools and teaching hospitals. He was a mentor to colleagues and residents alike, serving as trusted confidential advisor to the department's residents. In 2013, Dr. Martin was awarded the Canadian Psychological Association's Gold Medal for Lifetime Contribution to Canadian psychology.

    Each year, we honour his legacy with the Robert Martin Memorial Lecture, usually held in February - details will be provided in the events calendar.

    If you would like to support the lecture series, donate here.

department Research

We are dedicated to improving and advancing patient care and psychological health through research excellence. We value partnerships with colleagues in other clinical departments and disciplines locally, across the country and around the world.

Research highlights, 2021

Last year our researchers engaged in a wide variety of clinical research areas, with a notable focus on military and veteran mental health,  gastro-intestinal illnesses and inflammatory disease, psychological treatment evaluations, trauma and stress, anxiety, depression and primary care interventions.

COVID-19 also played a role in shaping the department’s new research directions. Many  of the past year's projects explored the pandemic's effect on mental health, hospital experiences, surgical cancellations, rural psychology and chronic disease.

Our researchers

The Department of Clinical Health Psychology has a rich history of research excellence driving clinical excellence, with the goal of improving care and improving lives.

Most of our faculty are predominantly based in the clinic and have only a small proportion of time available for teaching and clinical research, which makes their academic accomplishments all the more noteworthy.

The valued collaborations with our colleagues across multiple disciplines and specialties further leverage the clinical expertise and research acumen of our faculty and create synergies for research innovation.

Anxiety and related disorders, adult

Researchers working in this area:

Funding provided by:

  • University Research Grants Program
  • Manitoba Medical Services Foundation
  • The Winnipeg Foundation

Summary:

We are investigating the feasibility and effectiveness of large-group brief transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety and related disorders, individual brief CBT for compulsive checking, and group CBT for women who are pregnant or postpartum and experiencing anxiety and related disorders.

Child health and developmental disorders

Researchers working in this area:

Funding provided by:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)
  • Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba
  • Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba
  • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF)
  • Office of the VP (Research & International), University of Manitoba

Summary:

Research questions primarily stem from our experiences working with the children and families we see within the Clinical Health Psychology Program’s Child & Adolescent Psychology Consultation Service (HSC) and the populations we serve across specialized clinics, including the Child Development Clinic, Diabetes Education Resource for Children and Adolescents (DERCA), Gender Dysphoria Assessment and Action for Youth (GDAAY), and the Manitoba FASD Centre.

Current projects focus on transgender youth receiving gender affirming care, the validity of diagnostic subtypes of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, type 2 diabetes in youth, and the neuropsychological and socio-emotional functioning of children and adolescents with prenatal alcohol exposure and FASD.

We also collaborate with researchers in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Max Rady College of Medicine, and the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, on a variety of projects, including studies examining the language abilities in preschool children with critical congenital heart disease, and the mental health of parents of children born preterm.

Future research projects are aiming to examine caregiver- and family-related outcomes of families of children with prenatal alcohol exposure, and the development and evaluation of programs and services for children and families seen across our clinics. 

    Chronic pain and chronic illness

    Researchers working in this area:

    Funding provided by:

    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    • Department of Anesthesia
    • Department of Clinical Health Psychology
    • Health Sciences Centre Foundation
    • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation
    • National Research Council
    • Research Manitoba

    The chronic disease and chronic pain research team focuses on the intersection between chronic medical conditions and psychological/mental health. The team’s ongoing programs of research aim to:

    1. better understand the psychological factors implicated in adverse health events
    2. better understand and promote peri-operative mental health
    3. further explore the comorbidity between anxiety-related disorders and health conditions
    4. investigate the role of psychological factors in the management and clinical outcomes of different acute coronary syndrome populations

    It also continuously evaluates processes and outcomes of the several group-based clinical programs it offers. Additionally, the team’s research aims to increase access to psychological care in chronic medical conditions, including chronic pain, by developing, implementing, and evaluating novel care delivery models and modalities (e.g., web-based interventions, virtual care, 1-day workshops).  

      Forensic mental health

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      Canadian Institutes of Health Research

      Summary:

      In general, our research is focused on the intersection between mental health and the legal system.

      Current projects include an examination of forensic mental health assessments and trajectories of accused persons with mental health problems, comparing similarities and differences between individuals who are referred for an assessment of criminal responsibility and are found eligible versus ineligible for the defence, and studying the opinions of legal professionals about their experiences with the forensic mental health program.

      Gastrointestinal diseases

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      • Canadian Institutes of Health 
      • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

      Summary:

      Faculty have been active in research investigating the role of psychological factors such as stress, psychiatric comorbidity, fatigue, and adherence in aspects of GI illnesses including disease course, health care utilization, and quality of life.

      Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been the predominant focus through close partnership with the IBD Clinical and Research Centre as team members. There are also strong collaborations and ongoing research in celiac disease and other immune mediated inflammatory diseases.  

      Additionally, there is a research emphasis on psychological interventions for patients with GI disease in order to improve care and outcomes.  

      Current projects underway include:

      • development and trialing of an internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) program tailored for IBD patients with elevated stress, anxiety or depression
      • program evaluation of a CBT-based treatment program for irritable bowel syndrome and impact of shift to virtual delivery via video conference during the pandemic vs in-person
      • integrating coordinated psychological and nutritional care in the IBD specialist clinic utilizing innovations in clinical screening and clinic process improvements

      Mental health intervention 

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      • Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Max Rady College of Medicine Internal Grants
      • Health Sciences Centre Foundation 
      • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation
      • Research Manitoba
      • The Winnipeg Foundation

      Summary:

      CHP faulty are leading a number of exciting research projects examining hospital-based mental health intervention, including a novel group-based treatment to reduce suicidality among individuals with recent a suicide attempt, and a cognitive remediation intervention for young adults with psychosis.  

      Research in the area of psychosis is also examining mental health literacy and information needs of patients and caregivers. Evaluation of patient satisfaction with these efforts as well as satisfaction with virtual delivery of group treatments across sleep, anxiety and depression services is being conducted.

      Among university students, our team has examined the efficacy of an intervention website to reduce depression comorbid with alcohol use dependency.  

      Extending further to primary care, our team is examining a brief, virtually delivered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) program for anxiety and depression, and through use of an app to facilitate outcomes in individual treatment of depression. 

      Military and veteran health

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
      • Deer Lodge Foundation Research Award
      • Department of Clinical Health Psychology Early Career Grant
      • Worker’s Compensation Board

      Summary:

      Cumulatively, our research studies the epidemiology of mental disorders in members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces in order to understand the burden of traumatic experiences (e.g., military sexual trauma) and mental disorders in this population, as well as the risk and protective factors that impact the development and recovery of these conditions.

      We are also involved in developing and evaluating innovative and effective interventions for the treatment of mental disorders in military members and veterans, including for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), chronic pain, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

      Examples of specific, ongoing studies include examining the effectiveness of group Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, the effectiveness of a brief treatment for GAD targeting intolerance of uncertainty, and understanding sex differences in premature military release and difficult transitions to civilian life following military service.

      Neuropsychology and rehabilitation 

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      • MS Society of Canada 
      • Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

      Summary:

      CHP faculty in neuropsychology and rehabilitation are engaged in collaborative research which is examining neurocognitive and psychological functioning across a range of different clinical populations including concussion, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury, long COVID, and older adults.

      Studies are currently investigating underlying neural mechanisms, the role of comorbidities, neuropsychological correlates, and longitudinal trajectories. 

      Sleep and sleep-wake disorders

      Researchers working in this area:

      Funding provided by:

      • Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute 
      • Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Max Rady College of Medicine Internal Grants
      • Health Sciences Center Foundation

      Summary:

      Our team has focused on the evaluation of evidence-based treatments for insomnia and how to make such treatments more accessible to the public. A major focus has been the development of web-based and virtual interventions for insomnia and for drug dependency among those with insomnia.  

      Intervention websites have been used for those with insomnia disorder extending to those with traumatic brain injuries and type 2 diabetes, and virtual participation in group sessions through telehealth or videoconferencing has been expanded and evaluated.  We are engaged in ongoing program evaluation of these services with the goal of identifying the potential contributing role of comorbid conditions and the optimal sequencing of treatments for these. 

      Our team also developed and is evaluating the effectiveness of a new protocol for parasomnias (e.g., sleep walking, night terrors, REM sleep behavior disorder, nightmare disorder) and the efficacy of a protocol to improve adherence to CPAP treatment in obstructive sleep apnea among hospital outpatients.  In these efforts, we have assessed engagement, preferences, satisfaction, in addition to improvements in symptoms and quality of life.   

      Lastly, our team has evaluated the ability of sleep to predict disease recurrence among children with inflammatory bowel disease, post-partum depression among pregnant females, fear of cancer recurrence among cancer survivors, and nocturnal epileptic seizures among those with epilepsy.  
      We welcome collaborations with others in the areas of sleep and sleep disorders.

        Trauma and health

        Researchers working in this area:

        Funding provided by:

        • Chronic Pain Network
        • Department of Anesthesia Operating Grant
        • Health Sciences Centre Foundation General Operating Grant
        • National Research Council New Beginning Initiative
        • Tri-Agency New Frontiers in Research Fund 
        • University of Manitoba 

        Summary:

        Our research focuses on three primary areas within trauma and health.

        The first involves understanding the relationships between anxiety and trauma-related disorders (e.g., PTSD) and physical health conditions, including chronic pain. We examine the co-occurrence of these conditions, mechanisms that elucidate their co-occurrence, and correlates/outcomes of these co-occurring conditions (e.g., substance misuse, healthcare utilization).

        The second area explores psychological sequelae (e.g., PTSD, delirium) of adverse health events such as the onset of a life threatening illness, major surgery/surgical complications, admission to the intensive care unit, and COVID-19. We are interested in identifying pre- and peri-event factors that contribute to particular outcomes.

        Finally, we develop and evaluate targeted interventions aimed at mitigating negative psychological outcomes following adverse health events. For example, we evaluate preoperative psychological interventions (e.g., mindfulness-based stress reduction, virtual reality) aimed at improving both mental and physical health outcomes before and after surgery. 

        A student presenting a research poster to judges.

        Research Day

        The Department of Clinical Health Psychology holds an annual research day every April. The event features the John R. Walker Keynote Address, poster session and rapid-fire presentations.

        The date for this year's research day will be posted in our department's events calendar.

        Dr. John Walker.

        John R. Walker Keynote Address

        Named in honour of Dr. John Walker (1949 - 2018), this keynote address is a highlight of our annual Research Day.

        Dr. Walker was a professor emeritus with the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at UM and worked as a clinical psychologist for nearly 35 years at St. Boniface Hospital. He was well known in Canada and internationally as a passionate scientist and clinician of great integrity, intelligence, humour and warmth. He embodied the scientist-practitioner, and excelled as a psychotherapist, a researcher, a teacher and a community advocate.

        Dr. Walker was a trailblazer through his research in anxiety and knowledge translation, shaping the way mental health services are delivered in Manitoba and across Canada.

        Student working with a test-tube.

        Undergraduate Research Awards

        Each year, the University of Manitoba provides a multitude of unique learning opportunities through the undergraduate research awards. This program allows undergraduate students to interact with the best minds and research leaders in their fields. This experience opens them up to new possibilities for a research career in either government, academic or industry sectors.

        Faculty and staff

        Our team

        Our faculty and staff are committed to supporting learners, colleagues and the community. Contact us to learn more about our department and what we have to offer.

        Faculty and staff directory

        Career opportunities

        We are recruiting clinical psychologists—beginning career through to senior professionals are welcome!

        Doctoral candidates nearing completion of their degree will also be considered.

        Clinical Health Psychology recruitment (PDF)

        Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network

        UM Careers

         

        Community and outreach

        Making a difference province-wide

        The mission of the Clinical Health Psychology program is to provide evidence-based and cost-effective psychological evaluation and treatment services that facilitate diagnosis, expedite recovery and, wherever possible, prevent the occurrence and/or worsening of illness and dysfunction. We strive to address health inequities and approach patient care with cultural humility and sensitivity, serving patients and communities in Winnipeg and throughout the province.

        Provincial regions

        Our department’s clinical faculty and trainees works across Manitoba's health regions:

        Shared Health Manitoba 

        Winnipeg

        In Winnipeg, collaborations with community partners for clinical services and/or training and research include KlinicCentre de Sante, Aurora Newcomer Trauma Services, Rehabilitation Centre for Children and the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC).

        First Nations northern communities

        We work closely with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO)’s health service, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc., and the UM Department of Pediatrics and Child Health to provide coordinated psychological and medical care for children in northern communities through the Jordan’s Principle program. 

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        Contact us

        Clinical Health Psychology
        PZ350-771 Bannatyne Avenue
        University of Manitoba, Bannatyne Campus
        Winnipeg, MB R3E 3N4 Canada

        204-787-3876
        204-787-3755