White Rock psychologist Jennifer Mervyn is being recognized as among 150 ‘difference-makers’ in Canada. (Contributed photo)

White Rock psychologist named as ‘difference maker’ in mental health

Jennifer Mervyn says she is ‘humbled’ by national distinction

A White Rock woman credited with helping transform Indigenous youth mental health in B.C. is among 150 Canadians being recognized as a leader for mental health.

Jennifer Mervyn said she received official notice of her distinction as a ‘difference maker’ in the mail Tuesday; a ceremony was to take place last night (Thursday) in Vancouver.

“It’s humbling,” Mervyn said Wednesday of the recognition, which resulted from a countrywide call last April from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for nominations “of people influencing change in this area and giving us new reasons for hope.”

“I’m among the likes of people that I respect and whose work that I read and follow.”

According to the CAMH website, more than 3,700 nominations were put forward and the recipients “are everyday Canadians and household names.”

“They are your child’s teacher helping the next generation learn healthy strategies for managing emotions, and your neighbour’s son raising awareness and funds for mental health by sharing their own experience with mental illness or addiction. They are everyday and unsung heroes shaping Canadian society in new and meaningful ways.”

Mervyn, who lives in East Beach, is a registered psychologist who is on secondment from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and has been working with Doctors of BC for the past three years, supporting Local Action Teams of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

Mervyn credited Doctors of BC’s Val Tregillus with giving her the latitude to do what she thinks is best.

“I’ve never been supported like this, ever in my life,” Mervyn told Peace Arch News. “I’ve never felt this good about the work that I’m doing… had a boss say, ‘Yep, I believe in you.’”

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