Interrogating the Impact of Neoliberalism on Social Justice Approaches to Mental Health in Social Work

Principal Investigator: Dr. Catrina Brown Dalhousie University School of Social Work, Tel: (902) 233-5029, Email: catrina.brown@dal.ca

In order to receive clarification about the study at any time, or to report any potential difficulties related to the research, please contact Catrina.

You are invited to take part in a research study which explores social work mental health care in Canada by a social worker. You will be asked questions about your experiences providing mental health services.

This study is conducted by Dr. Catrina Brown (Principal Investigator/researcher, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Dalhousie University), Co-Investigators: Dr. Marjorie Johnstone (Assistant Professor School of Social Work, Dalhousie University), Dr. Donna Baines (Professor and Director School of Social Work University of British Columbia), Dr. David Delay, Assistant Professor University of Manitoba, Dr. Eunjung Lee, Associate Professor Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Dr. Clive Baldwin, Professor School of Social Work, St. Thomas University).

The members of the research team are all trained social workers with experience as practitioners in mental health and who teach social work at Universities in Canada.

Deciding whether to take part in this research is completely your choice. The study is voluntary, and before you decide whether you wish to be involved, it is important to understand the purpose of the study, what risks might be involved, and what benefits may be gained.

Please ask the principal investigator (also known as the lead researcher) to clarify anything that you do not understand or would like further information about. We hope that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction before deciding whether to participate in this research study.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research is to gain an in-depth understanding of social work mental health care in Canada.

How Will the Researchers do the Study
As a participant in this study, you will be asked a series of questions that involve sharing your experiences of social work providing mental health care services. The survey will take approximately 20 -30 minutes to complete. The results of this study will be shared with participants upon the completion of the project.

Who can Participate in the Study
To participate in this study you are an adult 18 years or older who is a licensed or registered social worker in Canada who works in mental health and/or substance use.

Who Will be Conducting the Research
The team of above-mentioned researchers, research project coordinator and research assistants will have access to the survey data and be involved in analyzing the data and writing up the results.

Potential Risks and Discomforts
There are no expected harms of the study. However, the nature of some of the questions may contribute to emotional or psychological distress or discomfort. You have the right to refuse or skip questions based on your personal comfort level with the material being discussed or withdraw your participation at any time. There is the possibility of future professional contact with members the research team. The research team will ensure to keep your involvement in the research confidential and there will be no impact on professional relationships.

The Principal Investigator and research project coordinator have a list of resources that will be made available if needed.

Should individuals be distressed or in crisis they will also be advised to contact their regular therapist should they have one, their family doctor, or visit the closest emergency

Potential Benefits
Taking part may be of no help to you personally but may be future benefit to others. Your knowledge, experience and insight may help contribute to the to the current understanding of social work practice in Canada. Specifically, this research could contribute to addressing barriers and may need lead to the improvement of organizational supports could initiate some changes in social service delivery. A report will be produced and made available to you.

Costs and Reimbursement
There will be no compensation for your participation in this survey.

Confidentiality and Anonymity
Your name will not be associated with your responses to the survey. You are asked not to provide any identifying information.

How will my Privacy be Protected?
Protecting your privacy is an important part of this study. Every effort to protect your privacy will be made. The survey platform used for this study is a secure software (Opinio) approved by Dalhousie for collecting research data. Access to participants answers requires an online account and password which will only be accessed by the research team. Any data downloaded from Opinio will be stored on OneDrive on a password-protected computer. As you are participating in this survey online the research team is not able to identify who you are therefore we will be able to keep the information you provide in the survey confidential.

If you Decide to Stop Participating
As your responses to the survey do not have your name attached to them, they become part of the overall data collected. You can stop participating during the survey by simply exiting the browser or choose not to answer particular questions. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary.

How to Obtain Study Results
If you are interested in receiving a copy of the study findings following the completion of the study, you will need to contact The project coordinator as the survey does not collect any personal information. The study coordinator, Kaitrin Doll can be contacted at Kaitrin.doll@dal.ca or 613-400-3274, and they will provide you with a summarized final report. No individual findings will be provided. The results of this research should be available in 2022.

We are happy to talk with you about any questions, clarifications or concerns you may have about your participation in this research study. Please contact Catrina at (902) 494-7150 or catrina.brown@dal.ca at any time with questions, comments, or concerns about the research study. At the beginning of the study you will be provided a copy of the consent form for your records and there will be time before the interview begins to ask any questions as well.

Problems or Concerns
If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, and/or concerns or complaints about this research study, you can contact the Research Ethics Board at Dalhousie (ethics@dal.ca)

What are my Research Rights?
You have the right to all information that could help you decide about participating in this study. You also have the right to ask questions about this study and your rights as a research participant, and to have them answered to your satisfaction before you make any decision. You also have the right to ask questions and to receive answers throughout this study. By choosing to participate in the survey you are giving consent to your participation. Your participation will be anonymous as your name will not be attached.

This research study has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Catrina Brown, PhD
Marjorie Johnstone, PhD
Donna Baines, PhD
David Delay, PhD
Eunjung Lee, PhD
Clive Baldwin, PhD


I have read and understood the survey description above and give my consent to participate in this study and for the researchers to incorporate my responses into the survey write-up and the open-access dataset under the terms described above.