Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Socioecological Approaches to Mental Health and Substance Use
Dr. Emily Jenkins, a registered nurse, is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. She brings extensive clinical and research expertise from acute and community mental health and substance use settings.
Her clinical training and experience informs her program of research, which aims to enhance mental health outcomes and reduce substance use harms for Canadians through mental health promotion strategies and health services and policy redesign. Dr. Jenkins current research is characterized by an “upstream” focus and includes studies exploring strategies to facilitate citizen engagement in mental health and substance use policy and intervention design, and youth engaged research to promote mental health and reduce substance use harms.
She is recognized as a leader in the youth mental health and substance use field and has established policy, practice and media channels that support knowledge mobilization and research impact.
- PhD (Nursing), University of British Columbia
- MPH, Simon Fraser University
- BSN, University of British Columbia
- Director, The Agenda Collaborative https://theagendalab.com/
Honours and Awards
2021 CBRCanada Excellence in Community-Campus Research Partnership Award
2019 Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia, Excellence in Advancing Nursing Knowledge and Research award
2019 Advertising Club of Edmonton’s 40th Annual Best in Show Award, See the Lives film series
2019-2024 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Scholar Award
2016 University of British Columbia, School of Nursing, Outstanding Dissertation Award
2016-present – UBC School of Nursing - Scholarship, Teaching and Research Committee
2020-present – Chair (Position Statement), Global Working Group in Mental Health Promotion, International Union for Health Promotion and Education
2020-present – Editorial Board, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
2019-present – Elected Trustee, International Union for Health Promotion and Education, North America Regional Office
Dr. Jenkins’ research utilizes health and social science perspectives in the substantive field of mental health and substance use, with a focus on youth and populations who experience social and structural vulnerabilities (i.e., marginalization). Her work is characterized by a strengths-based and “upstream” orientation. It is grounded in the concepts of mental health promotion, population health, and participatory democracy, with the aim to promote mental health outcomes and reduce substance use harms at community and population levels. To achieve this, her research is informed by participatory approaches and includes partnerships with people who have lived experience of the focal issue, as well as policy and other decision makers, to generate responsive and impactful evidence that can inform meaningful actions. Using mixed methods approaches, Dr. Jenkins’ research responds to emergent, priority health and social issues, including the development of interventions to guide youth policy engagement, minimize the harms of substance use across the lifespan, enhance mental health systems and, most recently, to monitor the population mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by competitive research grants and scholar awards from national and provincial agencies, Dr. Jenkins’ research in youth mental health and substance use is precedent setting for youth-engaged mental health and substance use scholarship and intervention. Her studies are among the first to focus on youth engagement in policymaking as a mental health promotion strategy and to center youth perspectives on substance use. Dr. Jenkins’ youth-engaged research on substance use has attracted significant attention and was featured on Reddit Science, receiving 60.8k up-votes, with 2.5k comments. Committed to having “real-world” impact, Dr. Jenkins has built a strong network in policy and practice settings and frequently provides consultation to inform strategic priorities, including invited testimony to the Senate of Canada during the study of Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act). She is frequently featured in media interviews about her research and further mobilizes her findings through creative mediums, such as film. In 2019, she was the British Columbia lead for the See the Lives project, an award winning film series on the experiences of parents whose child died due to substance use.
Select Media Coverage
- BC says ‘mental well-being’ is taught in schools. Students don’t see it. (February 11, 2021). Tyee.
- Pandemic impact on mental health. The Current with Matt Galloway. (December 14, 2020). CBC.
- Addicted: How Edmonton could solve its meth problem. (October 15, 2020). Edmonton Journal.
- Mental health impacts of coronavirus pandemic hits marginalized groups the hardest. (July 2020). The Conversation.
- Episode 8: Mental Health. (May 22, 2019). Blue and Goldcast podcast.
- From zero tolerance to open dialogue: How harm reduction is shifting the conversation on drug use. (December 6, 2019). CBC White Coat, Black Art.
- Morris, H., Hyshka, E., Schulz, P., Jenkins, E., Haines-Saah, R. (2021). "It’s a bit of a double-edged sword”: Motivation and personal impact of bereaved mothers’ advocacy for drug policy reform. Qualitative Health Research.
- Jenkins, E., Bernstein, S., MacPherson, D., Tyndall, M. (2021). Legal regulation as a human rights and public health approach to currently prohibited substances [Editorial as Guest Editor of Special Section on legal regulation of currently prohibited substances]. International Journal of Drug Policy.
- Jiao, S., Bungay, V., Jenkins, E. (2021). Information and Communication Technologies in Commercial Sex Work: A Double-Edged Sword for Occupational Health and Safety. Social Sciences, 10(1), 23.
- Gadermann, A., Thomson, K., Richardson, C., Gagne, M., McAuliffe, C., Hirani, S., Morris, J., & Jenkins, E.* (2021). Examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on family mental health in Canada. BMJ Open, 11, e042871
- Daly, Z., Slemon, A., Richardson, C., Salway, T., McAuliffe, C., Gadermann, A., Thomson, K., Hirani, S., Jenkins, E.* (2021). Associations between periods of COVID-19 quarantine and mental health in Canada. Psychiatry Research, 295, 1-9.
- Goodyear T, Robinson S, Jenkins E, Gagnon M, Mitchell K, & Knight R. (2021). Involuntary stabilization care of youth who overdose: A call for evidence- and ethics-informed substance use policy. Accepted for publication in Canadian Journal of Public Health.
- Jenkins, E., McAuliffe, C., Hirani, S., Richardson, C., Thomson, K., Kousoulis, A., Morris, J., & Gadermann, A. (2021). A portrait of the early and differential mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada: Findings from the first wave of a nationally representative cross-sectional survey. Preventative Medicine.
- Jenkins, E., Slemon, A., Morris, H., Hyshka, E., Schultz, P., & Haines-Saah, R. (2020). Bereaved mothers’ engagement in drug policy reform: A multisite qualitative analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy.
- Richardson, C., Slemon, A., McAuliffe, C., Salway, T., David, A., Jenkins, E. (2020). Use of virtual mental health resources for COVID-19 related stress among the general population in Canada: Findings from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(12), e24868.
- Jenkins, E. Haines-Saah, R., McGuinness, L., Hirani, S., Boakye-Yiadom, N., Halsall, T., Rivers, R., & Morris, J. (2020). Assessing the impacts of the Agenda Gap intervention for youth mental health promotion through policy engagement: A study protocol. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14.
- Affleck, W., Oliffe, J.L., Mckenzie, S., Ridge, D., Jenkins, E., & Broom, A. (2020). Addressing ethical issues in studying men’s traumatic stress. International Journal of Men’s Social and Community Health, 31(3), e16-23. DOI: 10.22374/ijmsch.v3i1.27
- Garrod, E., Jenkins, E., Currie, L., McGuinness, L., & Bonnie, K. (2020). Leveraging nurses to improve care for inpatients with concurrent disorders: A scoping review. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 1-16.
- Goodyear, T., Mniszak, C., Jenkins, E., Fast, D., & Knight, R. (2020). “Am I gonna get in trouble for acknowledging my will to be safe?”: Identifying the experiences of young sexual minority men and substance use in the context of an opioid overdose crisis. Harm Reduction Journal, 17(1), 23. DOI: 10.1186/s12954-020-00365-4
- Slemon, A., Jenkins, E., Bungay V., & Brown, H. (2019). Undergraduate students’ reflections on mental health nursing following practicum experience. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29, 163-171.
- Jenkins, E., Slemon, A., O’Flynn Magee, K., & Mahy, J. (2019). Exploring the implications of a self-care assignment to foster undergraduate nursing student mental health: Findings from a survey research study. Nurse Education Today, 81, 13-18.
- Jenkins, E. McGuinness, L., Haines-Saah, R., Andres, C., Ziemann, M.J., Morris, J., & Waddell, C. (2019). Equipping youth for meaningful policy engagement: An environmental scan. International Journal of Health Promotion, 1-14.
- Slemon, A., Jenkins, E., Haines-Saah, R., Daly, Z., & Jiao, S. (2019). “You can’t chain a dog to a porch”: A multisite qualitative analysis of youth narratives of parental approaches to substance use. Harm Reduction, 16:26.
- Glegg, S. Jenkins, E., & Kothari, A. (2019). How the study of networks informs knowledge translation and implementation: A scoping review. Implementation Science, 14:34.
- Barbic, S., Leon, A., Manion, I., Irving, S. Zivanovic, R., Jenkins, E., et al. (2019). Understanding the mental health and recovery needs of Canadian youth with mental health disorders: A Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) collaboration. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 13:6. DOI: 10.1186/s13033-019-0264-0
- Gerlach, A., Jenkins, E., & Hodgson K. (2019). Disrupting assumptions of risky play in the context of structural marginalization: A community engagement project in a Canadian inner-city neighbourhood. Health and Place, 55, 80-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.11.008
- Oliffe, J.L., Broom, A, Popa, M., Jenkins, E., Rice, S., Ferlatte, O., & Rossnagel, E. (2019). Unpacking social isolation in men’s suicidality. Qualitative Health Research, 29(3), 315-327. DOI: 10.1177/1049732318800003
- Haines-Saah, R., Mitchell, S., Slemon, A., & Jenkins, E.* (2019). ‘Parents are the best prevention’? Troubling assumptions in cannabis policy discourses in the context of legalization in Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 16, 132-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.06.008
- Slemon, A., Bungay, V., & Jenkins, E., Brown, H. (2018). Power and resistance: Nursing students’ experiences of navigating mental health clinical practicums. Advances in Nursing Science, 41(4), 359-376. DOI: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000221
- Jenkins, E., Slemon, A., Haines-Saah, R., & Oliffe, J. (2018). A guide to Multi-Site qualitative analysis. Qualitative Health Research. 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/1049732318786703
- Jenkins, E., Bungay, V., Patterson, A., Saewyc, E., & Johnson, J. (2018). Assessing the impacts and outcomes of youth driven mental health promotion: A mixed-methods assessment of the social networking action for resilience study. Journal of Adolescence. 67, 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.05.009
- Haines-Saah, R. & Jenkins, E. (2017). Setting the legal age for access to cannabis in Canada: Bridging neuroscience, policy and prevention. Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews. 43, 213-231. PMID: 29192661 DOI: 10.1038/npp.2017.234
- Creighton, G., Oliffe, J., Ferlatte, O., Bottorff, J., Broom, A., & Jenkins, E. (2017). Photovoice ethics: Critical reflections from men’s mental health research. Qualitative Health Research, 1-10. DOI: 0.1177/1049732317729137
- Jenkins, E. Slemon, A., & Haines-Saah, R. (2017). Developing Harm Reduction in the context of youth substance use: Insights from a multi-site qualitative analysis of young people’s harm minimization strategies. Harm Reduction, 14:53. DOI 10.1186/s12954-017-0180-z
- Oliffe, J.L., Creighton, G., Robertson, S., Broom, A., Jenkins, E., Ogrodniczuk, J.S. & Ferlatte, O. (2017). Injury, Interiority and Isolation in Men’s Suicidality. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(4), 888-899. DOI: 10.1177/1557988316679576
- Slemon, A., Jenkins, E., & Bungay, V. (2017). Safety in psychiatric inpatient care: The impact of risk management culture on mental health nursing practice. Nursing Inquiry, DOI: 10.1111/nin.12199
- Ng, C., Haines, Saah, R. J., Hilario, C., Jenkins, E., & Johnson, J. L. (2016). Unpacking young people's narratives about their aspirations: A Bourdieusian perspective. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 7(3/4), 423-455. DOI: 10.18357/ijcyfs73-4201616129
- Jenkins, E., Kothari, A., Bungay, V., Johnson, J.L., & Oliffe, J. (2016). Strengthening Population Health Interventions: Developing the CollaboraKTion Framework for Community-Based Knowledge Translation. Health Research Policy and Systems, 14:65. DOI 10.1186/s12961-016-0138-8
- Willis, C.D., Saul, J., Bevan, H., Scheirer, M.A., Best, A., Greenhalgh, T., Mannion, R., Cornelissen, E., Howland, D., Jenkins, E., & Bitz, J. (2016). How can organizational culture change be sustained in health systems? A realist synthesis. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 30(1), 2-30. DOI: 10.1108/JHOM-07-2014-0117
- Haines-Saah, R., Hilario, C., Jenkins, E., Ng, C., & Johnson, J.L. (2016). Understanding adolescent narratives about “bullying” through an intersectional lens: Implications for youth mental health intervention. Youth and Society, 1-23. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X15621465
- Jenkins, E., Johnson, J. L., Bungay, V., Kothari, A., & Saewyc, E.M. (2015). Divided and disconnected—An examination of youths’ experiences with emotional distress within the context of their everyday lives. Health & Place, 35, 105-112. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.08.006
- Jenkins, E. (2014). The politics of knowledge: Implications for understanding and addressing mental health and illness. Nursing Inquiry, 21(1), 3-10. DOI: 10.1111/nin.12026
- Goldner, E.M., Jenkins, E., & Fischer, B. (2014). A narrative review of recent developments in knowledge translation and implications for mental health care providers. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(3). DOI: 10.1177/070674371405900308
- Haines-Saah, R., Moffat, B., Jenkins, E., & Johnson, J. (2014). ”Purists, Mixers and Smokers”: The influences of health beliefs and identity on adolescent marijuana and tobacco co-use. Qualitative Health Research. DOI:10.1177/1049732314539854.
- Moffat, B., Jenkins, E., & Johnson, J. (2013). Weeding out the information: An ethnographic approach to exploring how young people make sense of the evidence on cannabis. Harm Reduction, 2013, 10:34. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7517-10-34
- Jenkins, E. & Goldner, E.M. (2012). Approaches to understanding and addressing treatment-resistant depression: A scoping review. Depression Research and Treatment, 2012, 1-7. doi:10.1155/2012/469680
- Jenkins, E., Balneaves, L.G., & Lust, A. (2011). Students and international nursing shock. Canadian Nurse, 107(7), 26-30.
- Goldner, E.M., Jeffries, V., Bilsker, D., Jenkins, E., Mennear, M., & Petermann, L. (2011). Knowledge translation in mental health: A scoping review. Healthcare Policy. 7(2), 83-120. PMCID: PMC3287951
- Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing: People Living with Mental Health Challenges and their Families
- Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Adolescent Health