Richelle Bird

PhD Candidate


I am a PhD candidate in the School and Applied Child Psychology program. Both my research and professional interests involve supporting vulnerable, marginalized populations, and global mental health. I have been fortunate in my academic career to have had the opportunity to conduct research with diverse populations including: immigrant students, First Nations populations, as well as individuals with serious mental illness, living in low-middle income settings, specifically Kenya. These opportunities have been instrumental in strengthening my appreciation for conducting and implementing research from a systemic and culturally informed perspective. Additionally, professional experience working in the field with diverse and marginalized populations has provided me with added insight into the profound, and often debilitating impact of mental illness. With this, I have also witnessed firsthand the vital importance of effective intervention and treatment, and most importantly observed the incredible and inherent resiliency of the human spirit. In my doctoral research I aim to continue researching mental health initiatives for diverse and marginalized groups, and the focus of my dissertation involves exploring how teachers can be supported to effectively identify and work with vulnerable students, specifically those experiencing mental health concerns.



I have received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2016/2017, and 2017/2018 to support my doctoral work. My research in global mental health has been supported with funding through the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (2017); the Global Opportunities Award (2017); and funding from winning the World Challenge Challenge Competition (2017), allowing for extended travel in Kenya to conduct this research.