Ontario Recognizes Mental Health Leaders Working with Vulnerable Communities

Hilary M. Weston Scholarship Award presented to exceptional graduate students


TORONTO — Ontario has awarded the Hilary M. Weston Scholarship to two graduate students, Maryam Motia and Cassandra Myers, for their outstanding contributions in mental health research to support vulnerable Ontarians. The scholarship of $7,500 is awarded annually to support the research of two students enrolled in full-time social work programs at publicly-funded universities.


The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario was joined by Graham McGregor, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism to present the awards at a ceremony at Queen’s Park. The Honourable Hilary M. Weston delivered virtual remarks.


“More than ever, it is crucial that mental health be acknowledged and openly discussed — in organizations, in the media, and throughout communities,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “Today’s remarkable recipients, through their initiative, research, and intersectional approaches, encourage us to recognize the multiplicity of identity and experience in mental health, and modernize how it is understood and treated in our province.”


Maryam Motia is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. She received the award for her innovative approach, using arts-based tactics, to learn how gender, race, culture, class and migration affects women’s mental health and how people can benefit from arts programming.


Cassandra Myers is a Master of Social Work student at York University. She received the award for her determination to better serve the mental health needs of marginalized survivors of sexual violence and her research in the under-documented field of Mad Studies.


The Government of Ontario established the scholarships in honour of Hilary M. Weston, the province’s 26th Lieutenant Governor. It recognizes her legacy and contributions in the area of mental health.


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