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Wendy Stanyon, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Wendy Stanyon, PhD Wendy Stanyon, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Researching new methods to promote a better understanding of mental illness






Research Matters - Wendy Stanyon



With a global suicide rate of once every 40 seconds, there has never been a more pressing need for mental health awareness. A startling statistic that Wendy Stanyon, PhD, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, hopes to change through resources like Mindsight, a computer-based, interactive educational resource she created which examines nine of the most common mental health illnesses, the related signs and symptoms, self-help practices, and strategies to help others, as well as available community resources. Since its launch in 2010, over 2,000 people have completed the Mindsight module program and quiz, and received a certificate of achievement from UOIT.

Dr. Stanyon subscribes to the philosophy that mental health awareness is a required life skill and equally as important as knowing CPR and basic first aid. With the increasing prevalence of mental illness in society, and the undeniable discrimination and stigma associated with it, She believes that everyone needs a basic understanding of mental illness and how they can help themselves and others. She is a noted authority on the development of learning strategies to educate students, health practitioners, service-based community groups and law enforcement officials to interact effectively with individuals who are challenged by mental illness.

Prior to joining UOIT in 2004, Dr. Stanyon worked for 20 years as a nursing professor in the Department of Health and Human Studies at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. Previous experience includes serving as a public health nurse for North York in Toronto, Ontario and a professor in the Nursing department of CEGEP John Abbott in Montreal, Quebec. Early in her career she began to see colleagues and family members affected by mental illness, and their struggles are what motivated her to take an active role in promoting greater mental health awareness and understanding.

Dr. Stanyon obtained her Bachelor of Nursing at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 1974. She received her Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan in 1989; and she completed her Doctor of Education at the University of Toronto in 2003.

She continues to serve as a Registered Nurse (on a casual basis) on the Forensic Assessment Unit at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), as part of her commitment to professional development and maintaining her clinical competency.

Industry Expertise (8)

Corporate Training

Program Development

Mental Health Care

Health Care - Services

Health and Wellness

Training and Development



Areas of Expertise (10)

Enhancing Mental Health Literacy

Facilitating Mental Health/Illness Awareness


Training and Education On Mental Health Issues in the Community


Community Based Research

Community Engagement

Mental Health

Mental Illness

Vulnerable Populations

Accomplishments (3)

Author, Mindsight (professional)


The Council of Ontario Universities selected Mindsight as a key mental health awareness resource for student leaders at universities across the province. The program will be implemented at Ontario universities in fall 2014.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, UOIT (professional)


Since 2004, Dr. Stanyon has taught undergraduate courses specializing in mental health in UOIT’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She was previously nominated for the Canadian Association Schools of Nursing (CASN) Nursing Education Excellence Award.

Mental Health Educator and Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, Police Services and Community Organizations (professional)


Dr. Stanyon shares her mental health expertise in the development of simulations, and provides front-line officers and other service providers with the knowledge and skills to interact effectively with persons challenged by mental illness. Dr. Stanyon regularly conducts seminars in the community, and is a strong advocate for expanding the use of simulation to other jurisdictions.

Education (4)

University of Toronto: EdD, Department of Theory and Policy Studies 2003

Central Michigan University : MAEd, Education 1989

McGill University : BN, Teaching/Public Health 1974

Montreal General Hospital: RN, Nursing Diploma 1971

Affiliations (3)

  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
  • Professional Nurse Educators Interest Group

Media Appearances (1)

Making mental illness awareness a life skill

Oshawa This Week  online


Metroland Media

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Event Appearances (6)

Approaches to Mindfulness in Education

Canadian Society for the Study in Education Conference, Brock University  St. Catharines, Ontario


From Knowledge to Real World Practice: Are Online Simulations a Source of Authentic Learning for Frontline Police Officers?

33rd International Congress on Law and Mental Health  Amsterdam, Netherlands


Unique Partnership between an Educational Institution, a Mental Health Facility, Police Services and a Regional Municipality: Using Simulation to Educate Frontline Police Officers

CU Expo 2013 Engaging Shared Worlds, Community University Partnerships  Corner Brook, Newfoundland


Using Simulation to Engage Police in Learning about Mental Illness

Advancing Recovery in Mental Health: Research Across the Continuum. Second Annual Research Day, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences  Whitby, Ontario


Mindsight: An Online Mental Illness Resource

Provincial Human Service Justice Coordinating Conference  Toronto, Ontario


Using Simulation to Educate Police about Mental Illness: Impact of Realism on the Learning Process

32nd International Congress on Law and Mental Health  Berlin, Germany


Research Grants (1)

Supported Literacy Education for Persons Living with Mental Illness: Exploring Social and Economic Implications

SSHRC Insight Development Grant $50926


CI Fernandes, S., Eamer, A., King, A., Stanyon, W.

Partnerships (1)

Engaging Police in Learning About Mental Illness

Durham Regional Police Services and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences


Through a growing UOIT partnership, Dr. Stanyon has provided guidance and expertise in the development of four computer-based simulations to assist police officers in learning how to interact effectively with people in the community who are living with mental illness. Since 2007, the simulations have been used to educate thousands of front-line police officers on how to recognize possible indicators of mental illness and effective ways to respond. In collaboration with DRPS and Ontario Shores, Dr. Stanyon is developing a framework for Phase 2 of her research which will evaluate how police officers specifically apply the knowledge they have gained through simulations.

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