Dr. Nancy Hall
Dr. Nancy Hall died peacefully today at the age of 60 at Vancouver General Hospital. Nancy had been living with metastatic breast cancer for the past couple of years.Nancy was known for being an outstanding advocate,researcher in the area of Mental Health and Homelessness. Nancy is a family member of someone who lives with a serious mental illness. This struggle helped her decide it just had to be better for folks with brain irregularities. Nancy has worked to provide improved supports to people who have extraordinary needs for physical and health supports. She was a convener of change for health to make the system work better for those with mental health issues that it is designed to serve.
Nancy brought a professional and family member voice to issues that needed to be addressed in ways that professional and the public can understand. She was grounded in the lived experience of people and had a strong core value of empowerment. She brought new learning and research to the attention of local,provincial,and national health leaders and was a trusted advisor of many organizations. An endowment fund has been set up at Simon Fraser University in Honor of Dr. Nancy Hall. Contributions to the fund can be made directly to the University Advancement Office,8888 University Drive,Burnaby,BC,V5A 1S6 or on-line at www.endhomelessnessnow.ca.
About Dr. Nancy Hall
Nancy has a Ph.D. in medical sciences from McMaster University and spent her career working on large scale public health programs for different age groups or settings. Dr. Hall has held university appointments at Dalhousie,UBC and Simon Fraser Universities and taught courses to public health students in health promotion and communications students in innovation and social change in a post carbon world with an emphasis on improved responses to the mental health of our citizens. She has also chaired numerous provincial level committees in seniors and Women’s Health.
From 1998 – 2001,Nancy brought attention to issues through her role as the only ever appointed Provincial Mental Health Advocate in BC. In 2001,the Liberal government eliminated the position but Nancy has continued to work to improve the public’s mental health through convening,facilitating and planning collaborative approaches in the community. She has been a thought leader in developing the Healthy Minds Healthy Campuses Community of Practice to link the mental health support counselors, students and administrators work to support improved mental health and substance use for students at the 22 post secondary institutions in BC. She was an expert witness for CMHA at the Braidwood Inquiry which examined the role of the RCMP,tasers and training of police in support of people with a mental illness. This provincial inquiry has had and will have national implications on the training and role of police in their interactions with people with a mental illness. She is a community member of the BC Mental Health Review Board.
From 2004 until 2010 Nancy had been involved with Simon Fraser University’s Future Dialogue:Imagine BC,a dialogue on the future of our province. She prepared a think piece on Mental Health as part of Imagines’ final proposal to British Columbians. It involves starting with the idea that recovery is possible and providing safe places for people to live with more community mental health supports at the community level is what is needed. She sees a different mental health system for our post carbon world one closer to the original vision of Clarence Hincks,the originator of the Canadian Mental Health Association. A system that will walk beside people and lift them up is required.
In 2008 Nancy consulted with the Street to Home Foundation in Vancouver to help with their five year plan to end homelessness in Vancouver. She was active at St Andrew’s Wesley United Church in Vancouver as part of the End Homelessness Now Ministry,a community ministry working to educate the public about solutions to homelessness and to organize the Faith community in Vancouver to respond as an alliance to End Homelessness in Vancouver.
In 2009 Nancy was awarded the BC Public Health Association’s President’s award for her career in improving the public health of British Columbians.
In 2010 Nancy was awarded the C.M. Hincks Award in recognition of her personal and professional experience. It is the Canadian Mental health Association’s highest Award and it is presented annually to one outstanding individual or organization which has advanced mental health in Canada through their work/volunteer activities by working on behalf of people with mental illness.
She brought her message of positive mental health as a volunteer at Vancouver’s Inspire Health,Canada’s first integrated Cancer Care Centre where she spoke with newly diagnosed patients at the Fire Side Chats and enrolled them in managing their mental and spiritual health to enjoy good health and keep their spirits strong.
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