The Vanier Institute of the Family seeks to understand the diversity of families and the complexity of family life. Each year, the Institute acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution to our understanding through their work, their research, their service or support to families in Canada. Annual awards are voted on annually to honour individuals or organizations that have made a contribution whether a study or a story, leadership or action, ideas or innovation.
The Colonel Russell Mann Military and Veteran Family Health Research Award is presented annually by the Institute to recognize and highlight high-quality Canadian research that increases our understanding of military and Veteran family health.
Lynda Manser is recognized for her study The State of Military Families in Canada: A Scoping Review and for Relocation Experiences: The Experiences of Military Families with Relocations Due to Postings – Survey Results, as well as for her subsequent knowledge mobilization efforts. This research, along with her work on Services for Military and Veteran Families: The 2020+ Strategic Framework, are important contributions to the national understanding of military and Veteran families.
The State of Military Families in Canada: A Scoping Review, published in August 2020, brings together the most recent Canadian research consisting of 72 articles and reports to identify the issues currently facing Canadian military families. Her work finds three common military journey challenges (geographical relocations due to postings; absences from family due to operational tempo; and the risk of operational illness, injury or death), as well as three family journey challenges (personal well-being and mental health; financial stress; and intimate partner relationships).
While most families report handling these challenges, Ms. Manser writes, “For those who struggle, access to systems of care and supports could enhance their resilience to manage these transitional challenges.” The study therefore helps to inform how services can adapt and align with the unique and diverse realities of military family life.
Dr. Valerie Wood
Dr. Valerie Wood, Queen’s University, as the lead author of Reunited, but He’s Not Meeting My Needs: Spouses’ Attachment Anxiety and Conflict Post-Deployment – a study on spousal reactions to military deployment separations and reunions.
Dr. Deborah Norris, Mount Saint Vincent University, as the lead author of an environmental scan of programs and services that focus on resilience and resiliency for military families in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Alyson L. Mahar, Queen’s University, for her research A Comparison of Mental Health Services Use in Older Dependants and Spouses of Service Personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces to Age and Sex Matched Civilian Comparison Cohort with Cramm, H., PhD; Whitehead, M., MStat; Groome, P., PhD; Kurdyak, P., MD, PhD; Aiken, A.B., PhD.
Dr. Heidi Cramm, Queen’s University, and her team, Dr. Garth Smith, Dr. Dawa Samdup, Ms. Ashley Williams and Ms. Lucia Ruhland, for their work Navigating Healthcare Systems for Military-connected Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Study of Military Families Experiencing Mandatory Relocation.
Dr. Alla Skomorovsky, DND, for her presentation Work–Family Conflict and Well-being among Single Parents in CAF: The Role of Coping.