Emily Jenkins

PhD, RN, MPH, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, UBC


Dr. Emily Jenkins leads an international program of research addressing mental health and substance use issues among youth and marginalized groups. Her research includes developing and evaluating youth policy engagement interventions to promote mental health, minimize substance use harms, and enhance systems of care. Dr. Jenkins’ findings have been adopted within BC and across Canada.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought further attention to the importance of the issues of mental health and substance use. Dr. Jenkins’ research team has been leading a response grounded in robust, national-level population mental health and substance use monitoring, paired with a multi-pronged knowledge mobilization and advocacy approach. This has included invited briefings, reports, and workshops prepared for the federal and provincial governments as well as media engagements to raise public awareness, and health systems presentations to inform resource allocation and clinical response. 

Dr. Jenkins’ research is funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Community Action Initiative, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Over the next five years, her youth policy intervention research, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is poised for national scale up, with collaborations across diverse communities and with established partnerships in the provincial and federal governments. The current national monitoring study she leads will be leveraged to guide policy and health systems responses to support the mental health recovery of Canadians – with a focus on the marginalized populations most impacted – through the pandemic and beyond.