PhD candidate Amy Panton has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant for her dissertation research on providing spiritual care for young people who self-injure by cutting or burning. The SSHRC is the Canadian federal research funding agency that supports research and training in the humanities and social sciences.
Panton's dissertation asks how faith communities and psycho-spiritual therapists can respond to the recent rise in self-injury among young people in Canada. Her work integrates a Mad Studies perspective into a reflection on memoirs of self-injury and asks how practical theology can respond to this crisis.
Panton is a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College, and works as a sessional instructor at Emmanuel College and Martin Luther University College, where she teaches about lived experiences of mental distress and how this connects to Christian theology. She is also the founder of the new Mad and Crip Theology Press, co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Theology, Mental Health and Disability and co-host of the Mad and Crip Theology podcast.
Panton wishes to convey a message of gratitude to the SSHRC for providing this funding and to her supervisor Pam McCarroll for her unwavering support. She says she hopes other graduate students studying theology will be encouraged by this news as they continue to apply for scholarships and grants and encourages them to never give up on their dreams!