Paul de Groot first met Raven on a Saturday night in September, 2018. He was walking along the Saskatchewan River with Service Dog trainer Colleen Kidd, who had brought with her a young, black and white Border Collie named Raven. Raven had been in and out of foster care, owned by a family and then returned. She was eventually picked up by Colleen who was looking for animals to be part of an innovative research project she is involved in with the Canadian Service Dog organization AUDEAMUS. The team is looking at the impact of service dogs on the lives of veterans who problematically use opioids and other substances.
Dogs have always been a big part of Linzi Williamson’s life. She says she used to think she had a fairly solid understanding of dog psychology and basic dog training having owned several dogs growing up, as well as having cared for the dogs of close friends and colleagues. She admits it was only after she began service dog training with AUDEAMUS as part of her trainee experience that she realized there was so much more to learn.
Patient-Oriented Research brings lived experience to Research Design
Studies have suggested that over 70 percent of Canadians have been exposed to at least one traumatic experience in their lifetime. These experiences can have a direct or indirect impact on a person’s overall mental and physical health and can lead to mental illness, chronic illness, addictions, a reduced quality of life, even suicide.
Dr. Gary Groot is a 2018 SPROUT grant recipient and a 2018 SHRF Establishment Grant Recipient. He is hoping his efforts to develop culturally responsive supports for Indigenous Cancer Patients will improve care for the province’s First Nations and Métis peoples. He also wants to encourage health care workers to do their own part towards reconciliation.