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Home » Empowering the Next Generation: How the Jackman Foundation is Shaping the Future of Child and Youth Psychology

Empowering the Next Generation: How the Jackman Foundation is Shaping the Future of Child and Youth Psychology

Group of children outside

“My interest, being a psychologist, is how do we promote health. Not just prevent sickness, but promote health,” says Dr. Eric Jackman, Founding Chair of The Psychology Foundation of Canada and its Strong Minds, Strong Kids Psychology Canada initiative, and Chair of the Jackman Foundation. “When it comes to the health of our youth, mental fitness isn’t as well understood as physical fitness, but it is vitally important.  Only a healthy population will make Canada healthier”.

Dr. Jackman’s interdisciplinary doctorate in human development and psychology, his enthusiastic interest in education (as a former Chancellor of the University of Windsor), and his resulting endeavours promoting mental wellness in children and youth were recognised by York University in 2010, with an honorary doctorate.

In 2014, Dr Jackman established named psychology awards at York University, providing financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing education in the field of psychology. In the same year, he also initiated the annual Dr. Eric Jackman Lecture, an annual public lecture on a topic of public relevance.

Since then, Dr. Jackman’s generosity has helped to promote knowledge translation among researchers and students, and advance applied learning opportunities.  Most recently, his contributions have enabled the establishment of a research award that facilitates collaboration among research teams through the Faculty of Health’s LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research.

Known as the Dr. Eric Jackman Health Scholars Program, it provides students with opportunities to work on projects outside of their thesis or dissertation and engage with real-world challenges through community partnerships.

Rebecca Bassett-Gunter, director of the LaMarsh Centre, expressed her gratitude for the support received from Dr. Eric Jackman over the years, which she said has “aligned perfectly with York University’s vision to bring together interdisciplinary researchers and provide opportunities for collaboration.” She highlighted the Scholars Program focus on student training and development: “It has allowed students to be involved in a project that they otherwise wouldn’t be involved in, acting as a springboard for their careers, enhancing their resumes and increasing their likelihood of securing future funding.”

Bassett-Gunter also emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration fostered by the Scholars Program. “It is so meaningful for students to have the opportunity to look outside of their regular research scope and work with other disciplines.”

In 2021, Dr. Jackman further strengthened his support for psychology research at York University by establishing an endowed scholarship for doctoral students affiliated with the LaMarsh Centre with a research focus in child and youth development. With this gift, Dr. Jackman now supports Faculty of Health students at every stage of their academic journey.

Dr. Eric Jackman

The impact of Dr. Jackman’s generosity is clear: His commitment to advancing the field of psychology and promoting child and youth well-being has provided York University students with valuable resources and opportunities dedicated to fostering collaboration, knowledge translation and community engagement. The legacy of his giving will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of research and practice in child and youth psychology. “It’s rewarding to see the difference this support makes to students and researchers,” says Dr. Jackman. “I look forward to seeing the far-reaching impact of their efforts as they continue to shape the future of child and youth development for generations to come. With time, I would expect Canada to be the healthiest country in the world”.